A new renewable energy coalition started up the same day technology pioneer and iPhone maker Apple received federal approval to begin selling renewable electricity on Saturday.
The group's first mission appears to be getting behind Apple as a harbinger of things to come and a warning to coal utilities.
"This is another indicator that fossil fuels are on the way out," said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League Education Fund, a member of the RenewNV coalition that started Thursday in support of clean energy policies in the Silver State.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the nation's grid watchdog, approved Apple's subsidiary, Apple Energy, on Thursday to sell power across the nation's wholesale electricity markets that the commission oversees. The company is authorized to begin selling electricity Saturday.
"Apple, the same company that revolutionized computers, cell phones and music, is looking to do the same with clean, renewable energy," said RenewNV, a coalition of solar energy advocacy and progressive groups in solar-rich Nevada where Apple owns the third largest chunk of its power generating assets.
Apple Energy owns 19.9 megawatts of generation in the Nevada market, owns and operates 50 megawatts in the Arizona utility region and another 130 megawatts of generation in the California market. One megawatt can power about 1,000 homes.
"Apple uses clean energy to provide 100 percent of the power for its data centers in Nevada, California and around the world — but it still has energy left over," Maggi said. "This has implications for everyone, but especially for companies and consumers in Nevada.
"We know that other tech giants are making similar investments in Nevada and around the world," Maggi added. "Our next challenge is to ensure utility companies and state regulators embrace innovation and these types of renewable energy initiatives at all scales."
The Las Vegas Sun reported Thursday that RenewNV's launch comes ahead of major November referendums on the future of the state's electricity market and the proper way to structure rates for rooftop solar.
The coalition plans to rally the public around energy-efficient, large-scale renewable projects and an increased deployment of rooftop solar, the newspaper said.