The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is okay with the idea of Google dealing in energy. Yesterday, it granted "market-based rate authorization" to Google Energy and designated the entity a Category 1 seller in all regions.
Google may well view this development as a bit of a victory. More than a few people became uneasy when it first applied to become a power marketer; the move generated a lot of fresh jokes about Skynet and global domination.
The California Public Utilities Commission and something called the Mabuhay Alliance ("the leading resource and service provider to the Pan Asian and other underserved communities for home ownership retention and small business growth and development") even formally expressed concerns about Google’s latest outside-the-box effort.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authorization is effective February 23rd, though, meaning Google won’t have to face some sort of investigation or appeals process.
Here’s the only hitch: at least three times in the document granting the order, the Commission noted that Google doesn’t have any wholesale electric generation or transmission facilities at the moment. So, despite all the paperwork being in order, Google isn’t going to be buying or selling much electricity in the near future.