Apple Inc. is taking a bigger bite out of the energy market. It will soon begin selling the output from its $850 million investment in a 130-megawatt solar farm in northern California
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has recently the California-based maker of computers, I-phones and I-pads its permission. The main goal here is to power its energy-starved data centers with green fuels, just as other major businesses are doing like Google and Microsoft. .
“When you own power production facilities then you would typically want to have authority to sell power,” Kit Konolige, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, told Bloomberg news service. “It is indicative of a number of related trends that are lowering demand for power produced by utilities.”
The way most of these businesses have chosen to proceed is to either buy certificates that guarantee green developers a certain market or by making investments in these projects and letting those who know how to build do all the heavy lifting. In this case. Apple has invested with First Solar. Apple’s objective to use the power to fuel its data centers, although it could sell that excess into whole energy markets.
Google gained similar rights in 2010, says the Bloomberg report.
It’s not necessarily a money-maker. It’s more of an environmental statement. Two years ago, Chief Executive Tim Cook told some of his stockholders who are climate change deniers/skeptics to take a hike. When the National Center for Public Policy Research said that the high-tech giant was wasting shareholder money on climate initiatives, Cook responded by saying that Apple is a concerned with all of its stakeholders, which means being an environmental steward.
That said, other corporations are even further along, including chipmaker Intel Corp., which already meets all of its energy needs with renewable power and is No. 1 in renewable power, according to a list released by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It is followed by Kohl’s Department Stores, Microsoft Corp., and Whole Foods, with Google at No. 5. Many companies are being proactive, reasoning that it is healthy for both the environment and business.
As for Intel, all of its energy sources come from renewables, says Mike Bates, Intel’s Global Energy Director. The company is only one of about four that can make such claims. “It’s a mix of our own onsite generation of renewable energy resources,” says Bates, at a conference sponsored by Edison Energy. That includes power purchase agreements and green certificates.