Selling photovoltaic energy is not the exclusive right of government in USA. Last year the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has granted Apple the permission to sell energy like photovoltaic energy, power generation and ancillary services to the market.
This permission has given the technology giant a new role of Independent Power Producer (IPP). According to Wikipedia, IPP is An independent power producer (IPP) is an entity, which is not a public utility, but which owns facilities to generate electric power for sale to utilities and end users.
Actually, what Apple has been doing is not the first in the technology industry. As early as 2010, the search engine giant Google has already established the IPP Model.
Colin Smith, the analyst of GTM Research’s utility department, said Apple’s wide breadth of renewable energy portfolio will make it a very interesting market participant.
So far, Apple has operated a 52MW utility-scale photovoltaic energy station in its data center located in North Carolina. Besides, Apple has owned a 20MW station in Nevada and a 50MW project in Arizona.
Apple is also planning to expand its North Carolina project to an additional 23MW. Recently Apple has been approved to sell its ancillary services via PJM networks. The networks cover the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest – include New York power grid, New England power grid, as well as the Midwest, Plains and the South American power grid.
Apple’s Selling Photovoltaic Energy is a Significant InnovationGTM’s Smith noted that there are some obstacles to be an IPP. Because the generation and sale of electricity are very complex skills, and the application process is not easy to do.
But he believes Apple’s move indicates that large technology companies have become increasingly active in the energy sector.