Google Energy Becomes Real: Search Company Can Now Buy And Sell Power

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News Posted: Mon, Feb 22 2010 3:45 PM
Google has their hands in quite a few things. Internet, Web searches, e-mail, mobile operating systems, netbook operating systems, social networking, and the list goes on and on. But we definitely didn't see this one coming. Google has just announced that their have been given clearance to buy and sell energy. Yes, energy. As in, power that makes you things work.

This past week, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave Google authority to "buy and sell electricity in bulk like any other utility," which sounds pretty weird given Google's normal cup of tea. But it may not be as strange as you'd think. Google has a lot of data centers, and it's having to buy power from all sorts of energy companies, probably at rates that Google would love to see lowered. The solution? Cut out the middleman, so to speak.



Those within Google that have spoken out about the announcement confess that the company is not planning or hoping to get into the energy sales business. Rather, they want to be able to "better manage their own energy costs, [and] to possibly add electricity marketer to its repertoire of services." Google Energy may very well setup solar farms or other energy generating facilities that could power Google's data centers, and many reports have noted that this isn't very unusual for larger companies looking to better assess, manage and maintain their own energy costs.

Still, at this point it's tough to think of what Google can't do. They have managed to infiltrate nearly every aspect of our lives at this point, and the sky really does feel like the limit. Google could one day serve you electricity and best-in-class search results? Pretty wild.
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rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 12:07 AM

This makes total sense to me. Think about there gigabit fiber project. If they could also power there broadcast and business buildings and equipment in a smaller community, say 50-250 thousand, and offer energy as well for a community like this at least to some extent. It would be very profitable I would imagine as well as costing them nothing. I have also done work in one of the other big communication (no names as I had to sign a non disclosure to get in the data center, even though already on contract) providers near there big communications building in Atlanta. We were doing network wiring work, but the power meters are visible in some areas. I will just say it watching the numbers is like watching a wheel going down the road.

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 8:01 AM

Microsoft starts "innovative" entry into the energy field in 5... 4... 3... 2...

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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realneil replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 8:22 AM

I agree with you rapid1,....It makes a lot of sense.

Power is generated in many ways by a lot of companies. Once that power is generated, it is fed into the National Power Grid and it is metered for credit.

Once the power is in the grid, it is a commodity and sold back and forth by Energy Traders who produce nothing, except cash to buy cheap and sell dearly for higher and higher prices, until it is drawn from the grid, metered and used by the consumer. Each time it's sold, the price goes up and it can be sold many times before a real energy user buys it at the artificially inflated price, and pulls it from the grid. Energy Traders are partially responsible for higher electricity prices in America.

This phenomena is much more apparent and out of control in US Oil Prices, but I'll not go there today. (it pisses me off)

Google was, like every person/company in America, at the mercy of the people selling the energy. If they can generate their own electricity (controlling costs) and feed the Power Grid in one place, they have that credit to remove the same amount of power somewhere else for free. This burns the middleman and significantly lowers their operating costs as long as they produce low cost energy using Wind or Solar Power to do it. Wind and Solar power only require a significant investment to get started and once it's built, there is little maintenance required. The equipment lasts for a long time.

Google is smart like the Fox.

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digitaldd replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 9:54 AM

Anyone see that thing on 60 Minutes this past weekend on the Bloom Energy box and a few other alternative fuel cell devices that may soon be available?

Really interesting stuff. The ones for home are about the size of a 4 drive NAS unit or like 1/3 the size of a mid tower.

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3vi1 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 1:36 PM

I've heard about them elsewhere. PROHIBITIVELY expensive at this point, from what I read. It seems like you would recoup your investment 10 years earlier by going with solar cells instead.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 2:39 PM

Yeah I have read some on the Bloom thing digital, it sounds like a very smart scam to me. I agree with 3vi1 the solar cell as well as other energy creation types seem way more positive to me. One thing which is kind of scary is the Bloom operates at roughly 1000 degrees Fahrenheit from what I understand (this could be misinformation, but is what I got from the articles I read), so you produce this energy, but you have to use twice if not even 3 or 4 times more energy to keep it's operational area cool. This would seem to be at least doubling your energy cost as well as need to me. So it is in many ways self defeating. Whereas both Solar and Wind as well as other things just produce direct energy. The also do so in an environmentally friendly way, and to the same or greater degrees than the Bloom stuff does. Maybe if it was introduced 10 years ago I could see it have a large market presence, but now I don't see it at all.

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acarzt replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 2:51 PM

Pretty soon google is gonna build their own city lol

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realneil replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 4:13 PM

acarzt:

Pretty soon google is gonna build their own city lol

 

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Inspector replied on Tue, Feb 23 2010 10:17 PM

LOL realneil and acarzt that is so true, they got almost everything they need covered, whats left is food and their set to go :D

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