Apple files to operate subsidiary as power company - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Finance, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 10, 2016

Apple requests to operate new Apple Energy unit as power company

Technology behemoth Apple Inc. has filed with the  Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to sell excess renewable energy generation at market rates. 

Apple has accelerated its ownership of renewable energy generation sources in recent years in attempt to reach its corporate target of powering its operations with 100% renewable energy. The company in March announced it was already at target in the U.S. 

Under a new subsidiary called Apple Energy LLC, the company hopes to sell renewable energy capacity it owns or controls but isn't able to use for its own operations; the generation it is looking to sell would come from certain generation facilities Apple owns or controls across the Southeast, Southwest, Northwest, Northeast, Central and Southwest Power Pool regions, according to the company's June 6 filing

Under FERC regulations, nonenergy companies that want to sell excess capacity are mostly restricted to doing to only to utilities at wholesale rates, which are lower than market rates. In its application with FERC, Apple said it should be exempt from those restrictions because it the amount of power tied up in its sales would be too insignificant to impact market rates.

"Applicant requests authorization under its proposed Tariff to sell energy, capacity, and certain ancillary services, subject to the Commission’s FPA jurisdiction, to any purchaser that is not a franchised public utility affiliate,” Apple said in the  filing. 

Apple's owned and/or controlled facilities — from which it wants to be allowed to sell excess supply — have a combined nameplate capacity of more than 176 MW, including 18 MW from the solar installation and fuel cells at its new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.  Additionally, Apple will have another 130 MW of solar purchased through a power purchase agreement that  begins in October with First Solar.

Apple will generate up to 18 megawatts of power from solar equipment at its new headquarters. In addition, the company’s Flats Solar project in central California will generate another 130 megawatts, and two projects in Nevada will produce 70 more megawatts. The Flats Solar project is operated by First Solar, but Apple has a long-term contract to buy the electricity it generates.

Apple news, reviews and rumors site 9to5mac.com reported June 9: 

Currently, when private companies sell their excess power, they can only do so to energy companies – and they often (varies by state) have to sell at wholesale rates. What Apple seemingly could to do, however, is sell directly to end-users at market rates. In other words, get paid retail prices for its excess power. Currently companies like Green Mountain Power can sell green renewable energy to homeowners all over the US. It wouldn’t be a stretch to see Apple do this as a product in the future.

Tags: Apple, ferc
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