Apple jumps into energy as FERC approves energy sales

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FERC has approved a filing by Apple Energy LLC, a unit of Apple Inc. that aims to sell energy onto the wholesale electricity market, paving the way for the smartphone and computer maker to expand its presence in the energy sector.

According to reports, FERC ruled Thursday that Apple Energy could sell electricity, capacity and other reliability services, also finding Apple's participation in the energy market would not harm reliability or increase prices.

Apple's competitors in the technology sector, Google, Amazon and Microsoft, have also made investments in energy, building solar and wind power capacity to fuel their energy-hungry data centers.

Having the ability to sell excess renewable energy from such projects onto the local power grid would be advantageous, which explains Apple's interest in the filing.

In February 2015, Apple committed $848 million for 130 MW in solar energy from First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project in Monterey County, California.

Apple also built a 20 MW solar array at its Reno, Nevada data center, working alongside NV Energy and SunPower. Another 20 MW solar array was built at the company's Maiden, North Carolina data center.

Apple committed in March 2013 to meet its energy needs with 100 percent renewable energy company-wide after growing backlash from environmental organizations.

All of Apple's data centers are now powered by renewable energy, according to reports.

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