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Thursday Throwback Spotlight: Plug Power Brings Hydrogen Fuel Cells to Leading UK Supermarket Retailer Asda

By October 15, 2020 4   min read  (765 words)

October 15, 2020 |

ASDA Logistics Services Plug Power

Story from this past August as Plug Power continues to make progress.

  • Represents UK’s First Scale Fuel Cell Deployment

LATHAM, N.Y. — Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leading provider of zero-emission hydrogen engines and fueling solutions enabling e-mobility, is providing UK-based supermarket Asda with hydrogen fuel cell solutions to power the lift truck fleet within the retail giant’s extensive supply chain network.

Asda’s partnership with Plug Power includes a purchase order agreement for Plug Power’s full-service GenKey solution, beginning at the UK facility in Skelmersdale. The turnkey solution includes fuel cells, hydrogen fueling equipment, hydrogen and service. This new customer continues Plug Power’s growth in Europe and represents the first deployment at scale of hydrogen fuel cell technology for material handling within the United Kingdom. The effort reduces Asda’s reliance on traditional lead-acid batteries for power in their material handling fleet and is part of a broader initiative designed to make the company’s operations more environmentally-friendly.

“Each new opportunity to expand the adoption of hydrogen fuel cells is an important step to building the hydrogen economy,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. “We’re especially excited to be partnering with an organization like Asda, which has such a proud heritage and sterling reputation. Their focus on making their organization more environmentally-friendly makes Asda an ideal partner, and we’re optimistic that this deployment is just the start of a long and fruitful relationship.”

Founded in 1949, Asda currently ranks as the UK’s third-largest supermarket retailer with a market share of over 15 percent, and annual revenues of more than £20 billion. Asda is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the multinational retailer Walmart Inc., which itself is a longtime Plug Power customer and a global leader in fuel cell adoption and commercialization in the supply chain and logistics market. Like its parent company, Asda maintains sole control over the entirety of its logistics network, which includes more than 30 distribution centers staffed by more than 12,000 employees across the UK. Part of Walmart, Asda is committed to meeting its target to remove 1 billion tonnes of emissions globally as part of Project Gigaton with 179 Asda suppliers having already signed up to this commitment, saving a significant 29 Million Metric Tonnes of emissions.

“Asda is dedicated to being the world’s Most Trusted Retailer, and sustainability is a big part of that,” said Darren Pettener, General Manager of the Asda Skelmersdale Distribution Center. “We’ve seen firsthand what a difference hydrogen fuel cell adoption has made for our parent company. There are good reasons why Walmart, which has been a leader in supply chain innovation for decades, has chosen to build the largest fleet of hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vehicles in the world. We’re eager to realize the proven environmental and productivity benefits of fuel cell adoption in our operations at Asda.”

Plug Power’s GenKey solution brings multiple benefits to Asda’s supply chain network. Fuel cell-powered logistics equipment enables distribution centers to achieve substantial productivity gains and higher material velocity by eliminating the downtime required for battery charging and changing. In addition, the fuel cell solution frees up valuable floor space by removing the need for multiple batteries per truck, and replacing bulky battery charging and changing stations with a compact hydrogen fuel dispenser. The full-service GenKey package allows customers to quickly capture all of these benefits, providing full integration and deployment of the Plug Power’s fuel cell engines, hydrogen fuel solutions, and support.

About Plug Power
Plug Power is building the hydrogen economy as the leading provider of comprehensive hydrogen fuel cell turnkey solutions. The company’s innovative technology powers electric motors with hydrogen fuel cells amid an ongoing paradigm shift in the power, energy, and transportation industries to address climate change and energy security, while meeting sustainability goals.

Plug Power created the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) technology. As a result, the company has deployed over 32,000 fuel cell systems for e-mobility, more than anyone else in the world, and has become the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen, having built and operated a hydrogen highway across North America. Plug Power delivers a significant value proposition to end-customers, including meaningful environmental benefits, efficiency gains, fast fueling, and lower operational costs.

Plug Power’s vertically-integrated GenKey solution ties together all critical elements to power, fuel, and provide service to customers such as Amazon, BMW, The Southern Company, Carrefour, and Walmart. The company is now leveraging its know-how, modular product architecture and foundational customers to rapidly expand into other key markets including zero-emission on-road vehicles, robotics, and data centers.

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