A subsidiary of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) recently approached the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) seeking authorization to sell electricity generated by the iPhone maker’s power plants distributed throughout the US.
The filing suggests that the company is seriously planning to venture into the energy markets. Apple pumped $850 million into the development of a solar farm in California. The Facility was created to provide ample renewable energy for the new Silicon Valley campus. CEO Tim Cook stated that the solar farm would also power Apple’s data center, retail stores and its offices in California.
Sources have revealed that the company plans to sell the excess solar power produced by the solar panels that the firm is setting up on the roof of the new campus. Apple plans to move into the new facility in the coming year. The filing by its subsidiary adds more weight to earlier rumors that Apple is planning to enter the energy market. According to the filing, the tech company will also sell energy from its hydrogen fuel cells and its other renewable energy facilities located in Arizona, Nevada, California, and the Carolinas.
According to a report from Bloomberg, if Apple receives approval from FERC, it could start selling energy as soon as August 5, and it would not necessarily have to sell through an energy utility company because it can sell directly to clients. The firm has requested for the tariff to be authorized within 60 days. The regulatory agency also reported that Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) had a similar energy filing in 2010.
The regulatory body allows private firms to sell surplus power though they are only allowed to sell at wholesale prices to energy firms. Apple argues that it does not present any threat to energy firms because it does not have any vertical or horizontal market power in the energy industry. It also intends to sell its excess energy based on market rates and thus the argument that it should be allowed to sell directly.