LATHAM, N.Y., March 16, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- During a time when rising fuel prices are on the minds of all Americans, everyone, including President Obama, is looking for alternative energy sources to help establish independence from foreign oil. Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, works daily to remind our Country's top policy and business leaders that hydrogen fuel cell systems are not a solution for the future, but are a commercially viable alternative-energy-powered solution today. Plug Power's GenDrive ® fuel cell units replace lead-acid batteries in material handling and industrial trucks for some of North America's largest distribution and manufacturing businesses. Customers include Walmart, FedEx Freight, BMW and Sysco. To date, over 1,000 units operate in the field and have accumulated over 2 million hours of runtime. At the same time, over 250,000 hydrogen fuelings have been performed by Plug Power's customers to date. That equates to over 7,500 fuelings performed by lift truck operators every week. These impressive statistics are further proof that hydrogen fuel cells are being adopted and used at a commercial level, today. Businesses are phasing out incumbent, toxic technologies in favor of building out their facilities around a reliable hydrogen infrastructure. "Not only are fuel cells delivering clean, reliable and efficient power to major corporations, military installations and college campuses across the country, they are generating high wage, green jobs, too," said Ruth Cox, president and executive director of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association. "Fuel cells and hydrogen energy systems are American engineered, American manufactured and domestically fueled, supporting U.S. goals for energy independence and a robust clean energy economy." "Americans are better than the fuel we import to put into our vehicles. That is why we should take a more serious look at fuel cells – units that we make in America, today. These are real products that are creating jobs, cleaning up our environment and increasing our global security. As if that's not enough, this product is export ready – to go from America to other countries around the globe. Instead of pouring billions of taxpayer dollars into foreign oil subsidies while consumers are still gouged at the pump, we should invest in domestic, clean and export ready technology right here in New York."