U.S. energy regulators approved a request by Google Inc. to become an electricity marketer, allowing the Internet giant to buy and sell bulk power like a utility.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission unanimously backed Google's application for what is known as market-based rate authority. The Internet company currently doesn't own generation facilities or transmission lines to deliver power and isn't planning to use the new authority for retail purposes, FERC officials said before the commission voted at its monthly meeting.
Google has said its interest in the power markets stems from a desire to manage its own energy supplies and gain better access to renewable power. The company doesn't provide information on its electricity use, but it operates massive networks including large data centers.
Google does offer an online tool to help consumers manage their energy use known as Google's PowerMeter. The company has partnered with utilities on this project.