Apple quietly forms new energy company to sell excess renewable electricity

In a bid to stabilise its ongoing commitment to sourcing renewable energy, tech giant Apple has quietly formed its own energy subsidiary which could see the company sell excess electricity to end-users across the US.

With Apple currently generating energy from its Cupertino headquarters, the firm filed for the new Apple Energy LLC subsidiary early last week. Registered in Delaware, the new branch would allow Apple to sell-off excess electricity as part of a “trade system” to purchase “net-metered” energy during days where onsite solar generation is low.

“Apple Energy LLC is a Delaware limited liability company and is a 100% wholly owned subsidiary of Apple Inc. [Contact is] Apple Energy LLC, One Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014,” the filing document reads.

“Applicant requests authorisation 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 has already requested permission to begin trading within the next 60 days, telling the US’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), that it will meet legal requirements for selling electricity across the US. Because Apple is still making inroads into the country’s energy market it has little sway in regards to market prices and could therefore sell directly to end-users at retail value.

With 93% of Apple’s global facilities running on renewable energy, the company can soon begin to sell electricity generated from solar panels and farms, hydrogen fuel cells and biogas facilities located across the company’s biggest facilities including the Cupertino headquarters.

Apple’s core

The use of fuel cells and biogas within Apple’s operations also received a significant boost last week, after the firm received permission to construct a “renewable energy facility that harnesses landfill gas” in North Carolina.

Leasing more than three acres from the state on a 16 year lease, with an option to extend by five more years, the plant will receive 40% of Newton County’s landfill methane, which will be treated by the Quadrogen Power Systems company before being sent to the Apple facilities.

While the use of the biogas – which will be generated using fuel cells – remains unclear, Apple does have a data centre in the area which is 100% powered by solar and biogas energy.

Apple’s continuous drive to champion renewable energy has seen it top a list of more than 150 companies – including rivals Microsoft and Google – to receive the first ‘A+ grade’ from a sustainability analysis group.

Matt Mace

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