Google Pushes Further into Power-Sales Market

June 13, 2014 By Karen Henry

google-sign-energy-manageGoogle is in the early stages of developing tools to help utilities deliver electricity to customers more efficiently. Bloomberg reported that Google’s Energy Access team is creating software and hardware tools that will be able to manage power lines and other infrastructure. While the sources for the article asked to remain anonymous, Bloomberg noted that its information came from “people with knowledge of the matter.”

This appears to be Google’s latest push into the energy industry. In 2013, the tech giant agreed to purchase the entire output of the 240 MW Happy Hereford wind farm outside of Amarillo, Texas. The wind farm will provide energy to the Southwest Power Pool, the regional grid that serves Google’s Mayes County, Okla., data center.

The Bloomberg article reported that Google, a large electricity consumer, is exploring ways to create a more flexible and efficient utility industry. Indeed, utilities appear to be struggling to adapt their business models to include renewable energy sources. In December 2013, a Wall Street Journal reporter referred to the traditional utility business model as a “death spiral.” The term has been used repeatedly ever since, especially when discussing roof-top solar and whether the technology is speeding utilities’ demise.

Photo credit: Google corporate building sign via Shutterstock / l i g h t p o e t

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