LATHAM, N.Y., April 2, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, today announced it will deploy a fleet of 65 GenDrive™ fuel cell units for customer, Ace Hardware Corporation. The power units will be used at Ace Hardware's newest Retail Support Center, located in Wilmer, Texas. Construction on the facility broke ground in mid-March for completion in early 2014. The lift trucks are manufactured by Crown Equipment Corporation.
Plug Power's GenDrive units competed against lead-acid batteries and fast charge batteries to be deemed the best power source for material handling fleet. GenDrive is able to offer Ace Hardware increased productivity of its lift truck fleet as well as a more efficient use of its facility space. Operational costs are reduced as a result of decreased operator and vehicle off floor time. GenDrive fuel cells can be fueled by truck operators in less than two minutes.
Ace Hardware will also see reduced greenhouse gas emissions by using GenDrive power units in its operations. Because GenDrive is powered by hydrogen, the only by-products are heat and water. The removal of toxic lead-acid batteries from this new facility also creates a safer environment for employees as well as the community and helps fulfill Ace's desire to improve the sustainability of their distribution centers."We look forward to working with Ace Hardware as yet another new customer in the Plug Power lineup. Over the next six to 12 months Ace Hardware will see improved productivity, lower electrical bills and more floor space available for storing goods," said Andy Marsh, Plug Power's CEO. "Ace Hardware is pleased to align with Plug Power, an organization that will help drive our commitment to clean energy," said Dave Forte, Director of Distribution Support and Engineering, Ace Hardware Corporation. "The implementation of a hydrogen fuel cell based application for our material handling equipment advances our strategy to provide the highest level of support to our customers and the communities that we serve, and that includes distribution centers that are focused on sustainability."