Plug Power Receives $2.5m DOE Award for Fuel Cell Ground Support Equipment

01 Nov 2012


Fuel cell forklift specialist Plug Power is to receive a $2.5 million award from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to retrofit 15 electric tow tractors with hydrogen-powered fuel cells for use at two of FedEx’s domestic airports in Tennessee and California. Both airports receive high volumes of traffic and both will utilise natural gas as a feedstock for hydrogen production. There are approximately 14,000 tow tractors in the US, mostly battery powered. Fuel cells can offer cost savings in capital, operation and maintenance, as well as carbon savings in ground support equipment (GSE) applications. Reducing emissions at airports is a difficult task with so many aircraft taking off and landing; as such there exists a strong demand to reduce emissions from auxiliary operations and equipment such as GSE.

The funding was announced yesterday (31st October 2012) by Senator Charles E. Schumer. "This significant federal award means that Plug Power can continue to help the Capital Region secure its place as an international hub for fuel cell research and development," said Schumer. "Plug Power will not only further the research of fuel cell energy with their project that will retrofit 15 electric tow tractors, this company will also put this innovative technology to practical use as they help FedEx achieve its goal of become a greener company. I applaud the federal government for rewarding Plug Power's innovation, which is both energy-efficient and cost-effective."

The project will last for three years: one year of development and two years of demonstration.



Industry Directory: Plug Power


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