VANCOUVER, May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) today announced that more than 270 of the Company's ElectraGen™ fuel cell backup power systems have now been deployed in 16 Caribbean and Latin American (CALA) telecom networks. All of these commercial deployments leverage systems that utilize liquid methanol fuel, a readily available and abundant feedstock in the region. Larry Stapleton, Ballard Vice President of Sales said, "We have been very pleased with the growing demand for fuel cell-based backup power products originating with telecom service providers in various parts of the globe. And, this CALA Region milestone is another positive indicator of that demand, as customers recognize the reliability and other advantages of our products as compared to lead-acid batteries and diesel generators." Ballard has 138 of its ElectraGen™-ME methanol-fuelled systems deployed in the Caribbean - including countries such as Puerto Rico, Jamaica, the Bahamas, St Lucia, Montserrat and Trinidad & Tobago - 114 systems deployed in Mexico as well as 20 systems deployed in Chile, Guatemala and Argentina. In addition, a number of trials are currently underway with other carriers. In the CALA Region, electric grids are susceptible to power disruptions due to natural disasters and extreme weather conditions. As a result, telecom networks are vulnerable to frequent grid outages, impacting continuity of service to subscribers. This reality is putting a higher focus on the need for extended duration backup power solutions. In these situations, lead-acid batteries and diesel generators are not necessarily a practical or financially attractive means of providing backup power, whereas fuel cell systems can offer a reliable, economic alternative - in addition to being a clean energy solution.