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Google Applies to Become Power Marketer

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Google is stepping up its forays into the energy world.

The Internet search company, which consumes vast amounts of electricity to run the computers in its data centers, created a subsidiary last month called Google Energy. It then applied for approval from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to be allowed to buy and sell power much like utilities do.

Google said it did not have specific plans to become an energy trader and that its primary goal was to gain flexibility for buying more renewable energy for its power-hungry data centers.

“We want to have the ability to procure renewable energy to offset power usage of our operations,” said Niki Fenwick, a Google spokeswoman. Ms. Fenwick said that having access to more renewable energy could help the company fulfill its goal to become “carbon neutral.”

This is hardly Google’s first foray into the energy world. Over the years, Google has invested in renewable energy projects through its philanthropic and venture capital units. It has also embarked on a number of engineering projects and partnerships to, for example, advance plug-in hybrids and offer tools to measure home electricity usage. And it has an ambitious goal to help develop renewable energy that is cheaper than coal.

From The New York Times
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