Program Will Demonstrate Clean, Cost-Effective Replacement of Diesel Energy in Refrigerator Units That Chill Perishable and Frozen Foods
Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, today announced it has been awarded a $650,000 contract from the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate the use of hydrogen-based fuel cells to power the refrigeration units in semi-trailer trucks that transport perishable and frozen foods.
Plug Power was selected by the Fuel Cell Technologies Office within the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) to showcase its fuel cells in transport refrigeration units (TRUs). These units are large air conditioners that regulate cold temperatures for items such as frozen pizza, fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products and other goods that must be kept chilled or frozen during transport from distribution centers to retail destinations.
Currently, most of the approximately 300,000 TRUs traversing U.S. highways are powered by diesel generators. Diesel is costly and produces environmentally hazardous particulate matter and nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions. A typical TRU will consume about 10 gallons of diesel per day, and emit roughly 101 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2).
By comparison, hydrogen-powered fuel cells emit only a small amount of heat and water, making them an environmentally friendly alternative energy source. Fuel cells operate more efficiently, cleanly and quietly, at lower cost than diesel.
In addition, Plug Power customers that use hydrogen fuel cells to power material handling forklift trucks will benefit from deployment of fuel cells in their TRUs, by leveraging the hydrogen infrastructure already in place. Increased on-site hydrogen consumption would result in lower fuel expenses overall, due to economies of scale.
“Plug Power’s leadership in the material transport industry is generating interest and development funds for implementation of fuel cells in adjacent markets,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “This TRU award demonstrates how Plug Power is now executing on its market expansion strategy to architect fuel cell solutions across a wider range of opportunities.”
Plug Power’s TRU fuel cells, which will be based on its GenDrive technology, will cool Carrier Transicold refrigeration units on trailers delivering products for a Sysco Corp. distribution center on Long Island in New York. Each TRU will run for a minimum of 400 hours over the two-year contract period. Hydrogen will be supplied by Air Products. Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) – a contractor that manages government programs for the DOE – will oversee the program.
The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power is revolutionizing the industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints. Long-standing relationships with industry leaders forged the path for Plug Power’s key accounts, including Walmart, Sysco, P&G and Mercedes. With more than 4,000 GenDrive units deployed to material handling customers, accumulating over 12 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow’s incumbent power solutions today. Additional information about Plug Power is available at www.plugpower.com.
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This communication contains statements that are not historical facts and are considered forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These forward-looking statements contain projections of our future results of operations or of our financial position or state other forward-looking information. We believe that it is important to communicate our future expectations to our investors. However, there may be events in the future that we are not able to accurately predict or control and that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations we describe in our forward-looking statements. Investors are cautioned not to unduly rely on forward-looking statements because they involve risks and uncertainties, and actual results may differ materially from those discussed as a result of various factors, including, but not limited to: the risk that we continue to incur losses and might never achieve or maintain profitability, the risk that we expect we will need to raise additional capital to fund our operations and such capital may not be available to us; the risk that we do not have enough cash to fund our operations to profitability and if we are unable to secure additional capital, we may need to reduce and/or cease our operations; the risk that a “going concern” opinion from our auditors, KPMG LLP, could impair our ability to finance its operations through the sale of equity, incurring debt, or other financing alternatives; the recent restructuring plan we adopted may adversely impact management’s ability to meet financial reporting requirements; our lack of extensive experience in manufacturing and marketing products may impact our ability to manufacture and market products on a profitable and large-scale commercial basis; the risk that unit orders will not ship, be installed and/or converted to revenue; the risk that pending orders may not convert to purchase orders; the risk that our continued failure to comply with NASDAQ’s listing standards may result in our common stock being delisted from the NASDAQ stock market, which may severely limit our ability to raise additional capital; the cost and timing of developing, marketing and selling our products and our ability to raise the necessary capital to fund such costs; the ability to achieve the forecasted gross margin on the sale of our products; the actual net cash used for operating expenses may exceed the projected net cash for operating expenses; the cost and availability of fuel and fueling infrastructures for our products; market acceptance of our GenDrive systems; our ability to establish and maintain relationships with third parties with respect to product development, manufacturing, distribution and servicing and the supply of key product components; the cost and availability of components and parts for our products; our ability to develop commercially viable products; our ability to reduce product and manufacturing costs; our ability to successfully expand our product lines; our ability to improve system reliability for our GenDrive systems; competitive factors, such as price competition and competition from other traditional and alternative energy companies; our ability to protect our intellectual property; the cost of complying with current and future federal, state and international governmental regulations; and other risks and uncertainties discussed under “Item IA—Risk Factors” in Plug Power’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on April 1, 2013 and as amended on April 30, 2013 and the reports Plug Power filed from time to time with the SEC. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which the statements were made and are not guarantees of future performance. Except as may be required by applicable law, we do not undertake or intend to update any forward-looking statements after the date of this communication.
Source: Plug Power
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