Apple has formed an energy subsidiary to sell its excess solar energy, according to reports from 9to5Mac and The Verge on Friday. Apple Energy LLC will sell power from solar plants in Cupertino, Calif. and Nevada on wholesale markets across the country.
The compnay has filed a request to sell power with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which could help recoup costs. 9to5Mac states that Apple has requested permission to sell electricity to end-users, meaning that it can sell at market rates instead of the wholesale rates utility companies usually get from private companies in an energy agreement.
At present, Apple uses most of the energy from its solar farms in data centers. They plan to solar projects totaling 521 megawatts of power after March 2016, all but 162 megawatts of which will be wholly owned by Apple.
According to a 2016 environmental responsibility report, Apple avoided 335,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions due to using renewable energy in corporate facilities. The company claims that it can use clean energy for 93 percent of the total energy usage in data centers, corporate offices, and retail stores.
Apple isn't running 100 percent on renewable energy across the board (although they are in 23 countries, including the United States). Apple has also invested in hydroelectric, biogas, and geothermal power.
Apple could make an entire business segment related to selling solar; it would be a significant but not impossible departure from their $233 billion technology business. And if Apple ever comes out with the electric car they’re rumored to be working on, they might have the underpinnings of a charging system already in place.