In December, Google formed an energy subsidiary with the creative moniker of Google Energy. Last month, Google quietly put in a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to buy and sell electricity on wholesale markets. And now FERC has officially approved (PDF) the request for Google to buy and sell energy at market rates.
What does Google plan to do with its newfound power? According to the FERC grant, “Google Energy states that it was formed to identify and develop opportunities to contain and manage the cost of energy for Google. Google Energy states that it intends to act as a power marketer, purchasing electricity and reselling it to wholesale customers.”
On the energy savings front, that means Google will probably buy clean energy credits and sell excess power to the grid. But as we speculated before, it also might mean that Google will eventually become a utility. The search engine giant has certainly invested heavily in the energy sector in the past–just take a look at its Clean Energy site to see some of the ventures (Google PowerMeter, RechargeIT, RE<C) that the company has been involved in. Next up: taking over the power grid?