Apple Energy LLC, the Apple subsidiary that develops and maintains Apple’s U.S. energy generation projects, received regulatory approval to sell electricity into the wholesale market. This will give Apple flexibility in developing electricity generation for its own use. It also demonstrates how technology giants have developed renewable energy traditional utilities have been slow to build.
Apple has numerous renewable energy projects around the world. These projects are part of the company’s drive to have 100% of its global energy be renewable. Apple built or invested in solar farms in California, Nevada, and Arizona, as well as smaller efforts in North Carolina. The ability to sell excess capacity into the wholesale market becomes a hedge when determining how much capacity to build.
Get ‘Er Done
The most interesting thing is how Apple could make these investments when confronted by a lack of renewable supply. This is a huge shift made possible by the enormous wealth Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon have amassed. All four companies have been involved in renewable energy projects in the States.
Public utilities have served an important role in the nation’s development, but private companies have done a better and faster job of developing renewable sources. I’m hoping that has positive ripple effects throughout the industry.
In the meanwhile, the ability to sell into the wholesale market won’t be a noticeable revenue stream for Apple. The power to hedge against its own needs is the biggest benefit of this approval to a company of Apple’s size.