FERC approves Google request to buy, sell bulk power

Washington, D.C., February 18, 2010 — The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved a recent request from Internet giant Google, Inc. to buy and sell bulk electricity as most utilities and some major companies do.

FERC unanimously approved Google’s request to become an electricity marketer, giving the California-based search engine company permission to become a market-based rate authority.

Google owns no generation assets or transmission lines to deliver power, but the company does operate an undisclosed number of large data processing centers, which have a large appetite for electricity.

In early January, Google Energy LLC, a unit of Google, told FERC that the company wants authority to contain and manage the cost of its energy — as well as to gain greater access to renewable energy sources.

Google said requests such as these are not uncommon, as other companies with large power appetites have been given market-based rate authority from FERC.


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