Google Seeks to Tap Power Markets

By Rebecca Smith and Jessica E. Vascellaro in the Wall Street Journal, January 7 2010

As Google Inc. grows, so does its appetite for energy.

The Internet giant has taken the unusual step of applying for approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to become an electricity marketer, essentially giving it the authority to buy and sell bulk power at market prices, just the way large utilities and energy traders do.

The company, which made the application last month through its Google Energy LLC subsidiary, says the change will help it better manage supplies for its own operations and give it greater access to renewable energy sources. The move offers an indication of just how much electricity large tech firms now consume in order to run their sprawling networks of servers and mainframes.

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