Plug Power Inc. last week release a statement saying the company has received a multi-site GenKey purchase order from Walmart Stores, Inc. to roll out its hydrogen fuel cell solution to power electric lift truck fleets at six of their North America distribution centers. The first of six sites will be deployed by the second quarter of 2014.
All told, Plug Power will supply a total of 1,738 GenDrive fuel cell units (to be deployed over two years), GenFuel infrastructure construction and hydrogen fuel supply, with a six-year GenCare service contract for each DC site.
GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells have universal appeal in material handling applications because they can contribute to an increase in productivity. Workers spend less time fueling a forklift truck as compared to changing a lead-acid battery, resulting in less downtime. GenDrive fuel cells also have no exhaust emissions so that they can be a component in implementing corporate environmental initiatives.
“We are pleased with the performance of the hydrogen fuel cells that we have been operating and are excited to expand our program with Plug Power,” said Jeff Smith, Senior Director for Walmart Logistics.
“This agreement is a tripling of Walmart’s commitment to Plug Power’s fuel cells, and is encouraging because it comes from a company with so much experience using our product.” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “This is a milestone for Plug Power and its ongoing business relationship with Walmart. Plug Power’s GenDrive products have a positive impact on the productivity of our customer’s operations. We have proven to be a trusted partner and are confident that GenKey will enhance Walmart’s material handling operations.”
Walmart currently has 535 GenDrive fuel cell units in operation at sustainable refrigerated distribution centers, including two sites in Canada and one in the United States. Specifically, Walmart’s Balzac, Canada, fresh food distribution center is the most energy-efficient distribution facility of its kind in North America. Additionally, the Walmart Washington Courthouse distribution center in Ohio was the launching point of the GenFuel business.