Search giant Google has been given the green light to become a power broker and will from now on be able to buy and sell energy on the wholesale market through a wholly owned arm called Google Energy.
The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the move which will allow Google to significantly reduce the amount of money it spends on running the company's sprawling data infrastructure.
A licence to "act as a power marketer, purchasing electricity and reselling it to wholesale customers" has been granted to Google although a spokesperson confirmed that Google will not sell power to end users for a foreseeable future.
Google could also become a pioneer of cleaner, renewable energy either by investing directly in companies that produce it or by financing research in this field via its Google.org not-for-profit organisation.
Google has also invested significantly in deep geothermal and high energy wind power in projects called RE
After Google's surprising announcement last week that it would be rolling out gigabit broadband for up to 500,000 people in the US, many will see this as yet another attempt by the company to become a err.... utility firm.
Some are even saying that Google could become the next Enron, the company which was also a power broker but crashed a decade ago in what is still the biggest bankruptcy in US history. Google in effect is turning into a country within a country as it carries on behaving like one.