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It’s official: Google is now in the energy biz. Cnet news reports:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has authorized Google Energy to buy and sell electricity in bulk like any other utility.

The FERC, the agency with oversight of the U.S. power grid, signed an order (PDF) on Thursday that grants Google Energy market-based rate authorization. This paves the way for the search giant to not only possibly add electricity marketer to its repertoire of services, but to better manage its own energy costs too. Reducing energy costs is a priority for many companies, both big and small. Many businesses are looking to reduce energy costs by switching their energy supplier. You too can compare business electricity prices and see if you can save you and your business some money in energy costs.

The order specifically grants Google Energy–a subsidiary of Google–the rights “for the sale of energy, capacity, and ancillary services at market-based rates” while acknowledging that neither Google Energy nor its affiliates “own or control any generation or transmission” facilities.

I still believe this amounts to a large step outside the company’s “circle of competence.”

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