Green energy fuel cell company rents site as Bloom expansion widens
FREMONT — Bloom Energy, extending its East Bay expansion, has leased a big building in Fremont where the company intends to widen its capacity to manufacture its advanced technology fuel cells.
San Jose-based Bloom has rented one of 10 buildings in a business park called Pacific Commons South.
The company produces green energy fuel cells that can produce electricity at or near the location where the power is to be used. The fuel cells are called Bloom Energy Servers.
Bloom leased a building that totals 164,300 square feet at 44408 Pacific Commons Blvd., according to a regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company said that it’s run out of production capacity at its existing primary factory in Sunnyvale. The problem is especially acute in light of Bloom’s launch of a new version of its fuel cells, Greg Cameron, Bloom’s chief financial officer, told analysts during a recent conference call to discuss the company’s quarterly results.
“To support our growth expectations, and with the introduction of Bloom 7.5 this quarter, we secured a facility for additional stack manufacturing capacity,” Cameron told analysts. “The facilities in Fremont are close to our engineering team.”
This big rental transaction isn’t the only Fremont lease for Bloom Energy. Last year, Bloom rented 88,200 square feet at 44370 Christy St.
In the most recent transaction, brokers from commercial real estate firms CBRE and JLL arranged the lease, according to the SEC filing. CBRE brokers Chip Sutherland, Rob Shannon, and Robert Ferraro have been marketing the Pacific Commons South business park.
It appears that Bloom Energy intends to use the building for manufacturing and office space, the SEC document shows.
The interior improvements will be carried out in multiple phases, according to the regulatory filing.
“Phase one” of the interior improvements will focus on “approximately 45,000 square feet to support the first two production lines as well as other assorted production equipment,” the SEC documents show.
Upgrades also are planned for the remaining 119,300 square feet of the building.
The second phase of the interior upgrades for the remainder of the building will include “general office space” and “additional production lines,” according to the filing. Bloom wants to build more fuel cells.
“We’re investing $50 million to $75 million to bring additional 200 megawatts of capacity online over the course of the next year as we operationalize manufacturing a Bloom 7.5.,” Bloom executive Cameron said.
The production ramp-up could be dramatic due to the increased manufacturing space Bloom can access at the just-leased Fremont complex, the company told analysts.
“The facility we’ve secured is large enough that for a total investment of $200 million, we can increase the capacity roughly to around one gigawatt,” Cameron said.
Author: George Avalos.