LATHAM, N.Y., Feb. 1, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG) a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions announced that Central Grocers, Inc. has purchased an additional eleven GenDrive™ fuel cell units for its electric lift truck fleet in Joliet, Illinois. This increases Central Grocers grand total of fuel cell-powered lift trucks to 231. In addition to its impressive size and distribution network, the Central Grocers facility remains the largest grocery warehouse of its kind in the world, where all goods are handled with fuel cell-powered lift trucks.
Central Grocers purchased 220 GenDrive units in 2008 for its brand new $90 million distribution center. Joining the fleet are eight class-2 stand up reach truck units and three class-1 three wheel sit down counterbalanced truck units.
Central Grocers chose Plug Power's GenDrive fuel cell units, rather than traditional lead-acid batteries, as a cost effective solution to power its entire lift truck fleet. This decision was made prior to building the new distribution center. The need to build battery charging and changing infrastructure was eliminated, therefore reducing capital investment and opening up valuable floor space for the distribution business.
Since the trucks began operations in 2009, Central Grocers has only seen productivity flourish at its facility, as operators spend more time moving product and less time dealing with a depleted battery. A boost in productivity is a result of trucks running at full speed for an entire shift and operators refueling equipment in as little as 60 seconds.
At the same time, the company has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions as a result of the elimination of lead-acid battery charging and changing equipment. GenDrive is fueled with hydrogen; therefore, heat and water are the only byproducts of the electrochemical reaction. Plug Power customers have witnessed up to an 80 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions.
"The promise of the GenDrive products has lived up to all of our expectations since the initial deployment," said John Coari, VP Operations at Central Grocers. "Purchasing additional GenDrive units for our Joliet fleet was an easy decision because we knew it would drive productivity and keep our carbon footprint at a minimal. It's the right thing to do for our business, our employees and our community."
"Central Grocers is a perfect example of a customer who built their facility with an expanding hydrogen fuel cell-powered lift truck fleet in mind," said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. "Because Central Grocers implemented GenDrive from the start, adding trucks to its fleet became a simple matter of purchasing the truck and the GenDrive unit. There was no need to be concerned with available battery charging infrastructure or additional batteries."
About Plug Power Inc.
The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power revolutionized 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 our key accounts, including Wegmans, Whole Foods, and FedEx Freight. With more than 1,000 units in the field and over 2 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow's incumbent power solutions today. Visit us at www.plugpower.com.
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Plug Power Inc. Safe Harbor Statement
This communication contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to expectations regarding revenues and product orders for 2011. These statements are based on current expectations that are subject to certain assumptions, risks and uncertainties, any of which are difficult to predict, are beyond our control and that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations in our forward-looking statements including statements regarding the risk that unit orders will not ship, be installed and/or convert to revenue, in whole or in part; the cost and timing of developing our products and our ability to raise the necessary capital to fund such development 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 system; 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 GenDrive; competitive factors, such as price competition and competition from other traditional and alternative energy companies; our ability to manufacture products on a large-scale commercial basis; our ability to protect our intellectual property; the cost of complying with current and future governmental regulations; and other risks and uncertainties discussed under "Item IA-Risk Factors" in our annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 16, 2010, and the reports we file from time to time with the SEC. Plug Power does not intend to, and undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events.
CONTACT: Media Contact: Reid Hislop Plug Power Inc. Phone: (518) 782-7700 ext. 1360 Investor Relations Contact: Cathy Yudzevich Plug Power Inc. Phone: (518) 782-7700 ext. 1448