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Apple files to sell excess present, future power back to grid
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Jun 9, 2016, 03:14 PM
 
Because it currently -- and will continue to -- produces more power from alternative energy sources than it needs for present operations, Apple has created a shell company, "Apple Energy LLC" run from its Cupertino headquarters to allow it to sell any excess power generation from its US solar farms back to the grid, with some latitude in the filing to allow for future expansion of solar power generation, as would be expected. The wholly-owned subsidiary, registered in Delaware, may also allow Apple to take advantage of present and future tax shelters and incentives for alternative-energy production.

As it often does, Apple's filings are intended to give the company any possible options going forward, allowing it to build more solar farms in the US if it chooses to do so, and even to sell power back to the grid directly as a retailer, rather than only back to power companies at wholesale rates, all across the various US regions. While it is unlikely that Apple would go into such a business area as a full-blown commercial venture, continued expansion into solar power could provide another revenue stream for the diversifying tech giant.



A previous rumor has claimed that Apple is looking into electric-car "recharging stations" as part of the overall infrastructure needed for mainstream viability of electric cars in the US (outside of green-conscious states like California). Additional solar farms and other alternative-energy production could be used to create vehicle stations that are as eco-friendly as the cars themselves, unlike most present electric-vehicle recharging setups, which derive much of their energy from traditional power sources.

Apple has committed itself to making its worldwide retail, data center, and administrative operations 100 percent reliant on renewable power. It does this by storing power created from alternative sources in some cases, and selling excess or peak production back to the grid for credit to offset any power it still must get from traditional sources. Its success with powering its most power-hungry facilities -- its data centers -- from "green" power has been such that the company produced an ad for Earth Day, noting that all of its iCloud operations were run off renewable energy. The company's plans for its forthcoming Apple Campus 2 include some 14 megawatts of solar- and fuel-cell generated power, allowing it to operate without any impact on the existing traditional power grid.
     
sidewaysdesign
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Jun 9, 2016, 05:08 PM
 
I don't think the revenue will amount to much compared to their other streams, but the value in good PR value is worth a lot more.

It's a terrific signal to the corporate world that doing things right for the environment can be good for business at the same time.
     
Inkling
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Jun 9, 2016, 06:28 PM
 
Oh great, the middle-class in this country is hurting big time and what's the federal government doing? Giving tax-derived shelters and subsidiaries to one of the richest corporations on the planet. More crony capitalism.
Author of Untangling Tolkien and Chesterton on War and Peace
     
Charles Martin
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Jun 9, 2016, 08:24 PM
 
Inkling: um, no. Maybe take a moment and read the article again until you've got it, because you missed it. There is certainly such a thing as "crony capitalism," but the government using tax incentives to encourage certain types of businesses vital to the nation's infrastructure is not necessarily an example of that. Your local sportsball stadium -- THAT is an example of "crony capitalism."

sideways: Apple has a number of "businesses" that are not designed to make ginormous profits, but more to increase the overall value of the company. Apple Pay makes 15 cents off every $100 spent; the iTunes Store was break-even for a number of years (and this latest change in percentages will probably reduce its profits from where they are now, but this might be offset by growth). I think you're exactly right: any money made from Apple's solar investments will be paltry (by Apple standards) but will help push other businesses to invest in renewables, increase the overall value of Apple's offerings, and give conscious consumers more reason to switch to or stick with Apple products and services.
Charles Martin
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