Hydrogen and fuel cell solutions company Plug Power announced it has completed the installation and commissioning of an electrolyzer system at an Amazon fulfillment center in Aurora, Colorado, enabling the company to produce low-carbon hydrogen to power equipment at the facility.
Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, particularly for applications with difficult to abate emissions, in which renewable energy solutions such as wind or solar are less practical.
Founded in 1997, Plug Power provides turnkey solutions for hydrogen fuel cell applications, including green hydrogen, hydrogen fuel cells, and electrolyzers.
The new one-megawatt electrolyzer at the Colorado fulfillment center uses electricity and water to produce hydrogen, which will be compressed on site and stored in a gaseous hydrogen storage tank for use to power forklift trucks at the facility.
According to the companies, the electrolyzer is producing hydrogen to power 225 hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklift trucks, with the ability to support up to 400.
Plug Power CEO Andy Marsh said:
“In Amazon, we have a true partner that recognizes the essential role hydrogen plays in our collective energy future. This project demonstrates Plug’s ability to execute across the full hydrogen value chain, and shows how we can design and implement end-to-end solutions for our customers.”
To date, Plug Power said that it has collaborated with Amazon to deploy more than 17,000 fuel cells to replace batteries in forklifts in more than 80 fulfillment centers in North America. For most of these locations, hydrogen to power the forklifts is produced elsewhere, liquified, and delivered by trucks to an on-site storage and dispensing system. The new electrolyzer is the first for Amazon.
Plug Power added that it recognized an opportunity in locations where more renewable electricity is generated at a site than is needed at a given time to use that surplus electricity to produce and store hydrogen on site. Amazon is one of the largest corporate buyers globally of renewable energy, with approximately 480 wind and solar projects globally, expected to generate more than 71,900 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of clean energy each year, once operational.
Asad Jafry, Director Of Global Hydrogen Economy at Amazon said:
“Hydrogen is an important tool in our efforts to decarbonize our operations by 2040 in support of The Climate Pledge, and we’re excited about our ability to produce hydrogen at Amazon facilities through this partnership with Plug. On-site production will make the use of hydrogen even more energy efficient for certain locations and types of facilities.”