Proctor & Gamble to Convert Several Battery Forklift Fleets to Plug Power Fuel Cells
Proctor & Gamble announced plans on Wednesday, May 23, to fully convert the battery forklift fleet at three manufacturing plants to fuel cells. Over 200 forklifts will be supplied by Plug Power, Inc. and will replace fleets at P&G facilities in California, North Carolina, and Louisiana.
In the press release for the announcement, P&G emphasized that the fuel cell forklifts are "greener" than the current battery fleet. P&G officials also highlighted the positive financial impacts that the conversion would bring.
"Our internal analysis shows that we can not only achieve the sustainability benefits, but can also achieve an attractive rate of return on our investment at the same time", said Stefano Zenezini, P&G's Vice President, Global Family Care Product Supply and Global Product Supply Sustainability. "This is just another step on our environmental sustainability journey. Two additional sites are in the advanced study phase for conversion and we'll continue to look for opportunities like this where innovation has made going green a win for our shareholders as much as it has the environment."
More information is available online here.
Bloom Energy Holds Groundbreaking for Delaware Facility - Announces New Customers
On Monday, April 30, Bloom Energy held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new manufacturing facility to be located in Newark, Delaware. The facility will be comparable to Bloom's headquarters in Sunnyvale, California, and is estimated to provide as many as 900 jobs to the region. Once completed, Bloom Energy's production capacity will be doubled.
The manufacturing plant will be located on the site of a former Chrysler assembly plant, now owned by the University of Delaware. The University is also building a Science, Technology, and Advanced Research Center on site. The Center plans to bring together academia and industry to further research, academic, and community partnerships. The Bloom Energy manufacturing plant will be the Center's anchor tenant.
At the groundbreaking event, Bloom Energy's CEO K.R. Sridhar also announced a number of new customers including Delmarva Power, Washington Gas, AT&T, Owens Corning, and Urban Outfitters. In addition, Sridhar announced that Apple had added a new order for a North Carolina data center.
Construction of the new plant is expected to be completed by mid-2013, with manufacturing set to begin shortly afterwards.
Bloom Energy's press release on the announcement is available here. Additional coverage of the event by Delaware First is available here.
Actress Diane Kruger Joins Environmental Enthusiasts as One of the First Customers of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL
Mercedes-Benz announced on May 16 that actress Diane Kruger is one of the several dozen customers leasing the B-class F-CELL fuel cell electric vehicle. Since the beginning of the year, Mercedes has been leasing the F-CELL in the Los Angeles area and has delivered over 35 vehicles to customers.
Actress Diane Kruger Refueling a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL
In a press release, Diane Kruger was quoted saying, "I'm excited to be driving the F-CELL. It's environmentally conscious, fun to drive and gets lots of attention on the street. I can travel more than 200 miles on a full tank and it's easy to refuel."
The F-CELL is the first Mercedes-Benz zero emission vehicle available in the U.S. The F-CELL has a range of up to 240 miles, and an average of 55 mpg equivalent, while emitting only water vapor.
Mercedes-Benz press release is available online here.
ClearEdge Power Plays Integral Role in Restoration and Reopening of Historic Lafayette Hotel in San Diego
On Wednesday, May 9, ClearEdge Power and the Lafayette Hotel hosted an event to celebrate the historic rehabilitation of The Lafayette Hotel, San Diego. The event showcased the recent rehabilitation of a San Diego landmark and the cutting-edge green technologies implemented in the project, including a 40 kW fuel cell system.
The Lafayette Hotel partnered with San Diego Gas & Electric to implement energy efficiency upgrades throughout the hotel with the goal of reducing annual operating costs by $70,000. These upgrades included the installation of the ClearEdge Power fuel cell system, which alone will be responsible for reducing energy costs by $30,000 a year, while eliminating 100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, the fuel cell system has supported the broader renovation of the landmark hotel by helping it qualify for substantial tax credits as well as various energy upgrade rebates, including a Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) award from the California Center for Sustainable Energy.
More information is available on the ClearEdge Power press release available here.
Lilliputian to Sell Portable Fuel Cell Charger Through Brookstone Later This Year
On Tuesday, May 8, fuel cell manufacturer Lilliputian Systems Inc. announced that it has signed a strategic partnership with retailer Brookstone, Inc. to begin selling their portable fuel cell charger later this year. Under the agreement, Brookstone will be the first retail launch partner for the portable charger.
The charger, a solid oxide fuel cell which runs on butane fuel, is capable of powering any electronic device that has a USB cable. The charger is said to deliver between 10 and 14 full charges to an iPhone with one fuel cartridge.
Lilliputian's press release on the announcement is available online
here. Additional coverage of the story is available on CNET here.
Michigan's Mass Transit Authority Unveils Fuel Cell Bus and Hydrogen Station
On Monday, May 21, Flint, Michigan's Mass Transportation Authority (MTA) unveiled a UTC Power fuel cell electric bus, which is now in service for riders. According to MTA's press release, MTA is now the first transportation authority in the Midwest with a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
UTC Power's Fuel Cell Bus at the MTA Station in Downtown Flint.
(Ryan Garza, mlive)
MTA also announced that they will be procuring additional hydrogen vehicles in the near-future and that a request for proposals will be issued within the next year.
|Passengers Aboard the MTA Fuel Cell Bus|
(Ryan Garza, mlive)
In addition, MTA opened an Air Products hydrogen fueling station to fuel the vehicle, which will generate hydrogen from a PEM electrolyzer supplied by Proton OnSite. The station will be the first of its kind in Michigan and will serve as an educational training ground for Kettering University students and the larger community.
MTA's press release on the announcement is available online here. Air Products' press release on the hydrogen station is available here.
Ballard Power and Anglo American Platinum Limited Partner on Range of Fuel Cell Applications in South Africa - Demonstrate World's First Fuel Cell Locomotive
On Tuesday, May 8, Ballard Power Systems and Anglo American Platinum Limited (Amplats) announced a partnership on a range of fuel cell applications in South Africa, including the demonstration of the world's first fuel cell locomotive. The following day, Amplats launched the first of five locomotive powered by fuel cells for use in underground mining operations.
Mine Locomotive Prototype Powered by Ballard Power Fuel Cell
According to Amplats CEO Cynthia Caroll, "Hydrogen fuel cell locomotives are more economical and environmentally friendly than other forms of rail transport." When in operation underground, fuel cells do not produce any harmful greenhouse gases.
In addition to the fuel cell locomotive, Ballard Power and Amplats are developing a market feasibility study and are testing a proof-of-concept system for a small-scale electric generator that will utilize on-site propane or natural gas for South African markets.
More information is available on Ballard Power's press release here. Additional coverage can be found on Reuters Africa here.
Plug Power Expands Client Base - Includes Mercedes-Benz, Stihl, and IKEA
On Tuesday, May 15, Plug Power, Inc., producer of the GenDrive fuel cell system, announced the addition of several new firms to its clientele. Mercedes-Benz, Stihl, and IKEA have formalized their first orders of the GenDrive-powered forklifts to be used at shipping and distribution centers throughout the U.S. In addition, Lowe's, a continuing customer, signed a five year contract to set product pricing and service terms for GenDrive products to be used in its Rome, Georgia distribution center. Other repeat customers included Sysco San Antonio, Sysco Long Island, and Bridgestone-Firestone after placing orders for 2012.
The contract with Ikea represents the first business deal closed by HyPulsion, a joint venture between Plug Power and Air Liquide. Ikea has signed a contract with HyPulsion to convert its entire southern France operation to GenDrive products in 2013.
These deals are projected to push the deployment of GenDrive forklifts from the current 2,200 units at customer sites to over 4,000 individual units by the end of 2012.
More information can be found from Plug Power's press release here.
Western Connecticut State University to Install UTC Power Fuel Cell
Adding to the growing list of university campuses utilizing fuel cells, Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) announced on May 16 that it will team with United Technologies Corporation to power its new science building with a UTC Power PureCell Model 400 fuel cell.
UTC will own and operate the 400kW fuel cell, with the university agreeing to purchase both the power and heat it will generate. The fuel cell is expected to cover all of the science building's electrical and heating needs, and may even serve as part of the departmental science curriculum. The fuel cell installation is expected to save the university around $30,000 annually.
More information is available online here.