Apple is branching out from smartphones and computers and has just entered the energy sector.

Apple has created a new subsidiary called Apple Energy LLC, with plans to use renewable energy to help power its operations as well as sell the excess electricity generated from its solar farms to wholesale markets in the U.S.

The new company was incorporated in Delaware on May 20, but will run from the Cupertino, Calif. headquarters.

Apple is no stranger to investing in clean energy. Since 2013, 100 percent of power used at every single one of its data centers is from renewable energy. Just one example of how Apple is using clean energy is its 32-megawatt solar project that consists of panels of more than 800 locations that powers its operations in Singapore.

Apple says that it is both sourcing and generating "enough renewable energy to cover 93 percent of the electricity we use at our facility worldwide." According to the company's 2016 Environmental Responsibility Report, it is currently powering 463 Apple Stores in 13 countries with 100 percent renewable energy. It also puts clean energy back onto the local grid.

Then, there's the green-friendly new campus in development in Cupertino that will focus on being energy-efficient, complete with rooftop solar panels, as well serve as the home of thousands of trees, use recycled water and provide commute alternatives for employees to reduce carbon emissions.

With clean energy on its mind, it only makes sense that Apple would start its own company. Assets owned by the new company include its power facilities in California and Nevada, which include the solar panels that will help power the Cupertino campus.

Besides using the new company to power its own facilities, Apple has plans to sell its excess energy to other companies. According to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) filings, Apple Energy wants to be able to sell its leftover power at market rates.

The way the market is, private companies sell their power to energy companies at whole rates. However, Apple might be about to sell it for retail prices, because it is not a major player in the energy sector, meaning it cannot influence prices.

Based on this legal criteria, the FERC can give Apple Energy permission to sell at market rates, and it could start doing so as soon as 60 days from June 6.

It may be that clean energy might be an investment that could bring in the green.

Source: 9 to 5 Mac

Photo: Mike Weston | Flickr

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