Vancouver, Canada and SOUTHBOROUGH, MA, USA – Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP; TSX: BLD) announced that the company’s subsidiary, Protonex, has received a follow-on purchase order from the U.S. Army for more than 400 Squad Power Manager (SPM-622) Special Operations Kits, with a value of approximately $2.8 million.
The purchase order was issued by the Program Executive Office (PEO) – Soldier which has responsibility for acquiring man-worn and carried equipment utilized by U.S. Army Soldiers. The SPM-622 units will be deployed with Special Operations Forces for battlefield use.
Paul Osenar, President of Protonex said, “This follow-on order from PEO-Soldier is strong evidence that a key customer is pleased with the Squad Power Manager and its effectiveness in dismounted operations. Our Squad Power Manager and Vest Power Manager products improve energy efficiency and reduce the weight burden on the warfighter.”
The SPM-622 Squad Power Manager is a lightweight portable power management device, weighing less than a pound and permitting a squad of from 5 to 9 Soldiers to power all portable radios, computers and other electronic equipment from any available battery, as well as to recharge that battery from solar, vehicle, AC or scavenged energy sources.
As a part of the U.S. Military’s “digital battlefield” strategy, Protonex Power Managers are being used by every branch of the Military to dramatically reduce the number and variety of batteries needed in forward positions. This significantly lightens the load carried by Soldiers and Marines, while giving them the flexibility to keep their gear powered regardless of changing battlefield conditions.
Randy MacEwen, Ballard’s President and CEO said, “Our acquisition of Protonex at the beginning of this quarter added power management capability to our portfolio, enabling Ballard to expand beyond fuel cells by seamlessly linking fuel cell, solar and storage technologies to deliver clean energy simply and efficiently. Through the acquisition Ballard is also now gaining exposure to the military, representing an important incremental market opportunity.”
The SPM-622 product has been developed and is produced by the Protonex engineering and operations team at the company’s facility in Southborough, Massachusetts for Military use. To date more than 4,000 Power Managers have been trialed and deployed by the United States and allied Militaries.