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Apple establishes 'Apple Energy' to resell green energy back to providers

Apple has established a new subsidiary firm, "Apple Energy LLC," geared towards reselling surplus energy from the company's solar farms back to local grid systems.

The business was formally incorporated in Delaware on May 20, even though its point of contact is Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headuqarters, according to an LLC filing discovered by 9to5Mac. The company's assets include power facilities in Nevada and California, among them the solar panels and fuel cells that will support its Campus 2 complex in Cupertino, which is due to be occupied by early 2017.

Apple has meanwhile told the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission it should meet the criteria for selling power at market rates rather than wholesale, since it doesn't have major influence in the energy industry and can't impact prices. Should it get permission, it could start reselling power within 60 days of June 6.

Many U.S. states offer "net metering" to individual citizens, allowing them to make money from reselling their excess solar power. Apple may need a subsidiary to resell energy due to the greater scale and complexity involved.

The company is unlikely to start selling to consumers, since that would involve establishing expensive new infrastructure to reach homes, among other obstacles. Instead, reselling to local power companies may offset the cost of drawing on the grid when solar energy isn't enough.