LATHAM, N.Y., Jan. 13, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG) and Coca-Cola Refreshments USA (NYSE:KO) announced plans for a new fleet of GenDrive-powered Caterpillar lift trucks at Coca-Cola's 250,000 sq. ft. bottling and distribution center in San Leandro, CA.

The GenDrive fleet at Coca-Cola's facility will include 37 Class-1 sit down counterbalanced trucks. Previously using lead-acid batteries as a power solution, Coca-Cola is making the transition to GenDrive to take advantage of the increased productivity and improved space utilization offered by the technology.

By removing the infrastructure associated with the lead-acid battery charging, changing and maintenance, Coca-Cola will recover more than 2,000 square feet of facility space to use for other business operations. At the same time, electrical consumption will be reduced by an estimated 1.6 million kwh/year. These benefits will help Coca-Cola realize a return on investment and a 15% carbon reduction goal across the business.

"At Coca-Cola, we consider sustainability a core component to everything we do. Our goal is to be the beverage industry leader in energy conservation and climate protection," said Brian P. Kelly, Product Supply Leader, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Using Plug Power Fuel Cells for our fleet in the San Leandro facility is an example of this commitment. This innovative use of technology will help us reduce our carbon emissions, streamline our operations and work towards our aggressive environmental goals."

"This is the second site in the Coca-Cola system to convert an existing lift truck fleet to GenDrive fuel cells," said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. "It's evidenced through these repeat customers the real value of the GenDrive solution. Hydrogen fuel cells are competing with the incumbent power sources and winning because they provide the most benefit for the organization. It's a simple business decision."

Plug Power received a purchase order from Coca-Cola in November, 2010 and shipped all 37 units to the customer in December, 2010.