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Plug Power completes first installation of electrolyzer at Amazon fulfillment center

Plug Power completed the installation and commissioning of an electrolyzer system at an Amazon fulfillment center in Aurora, Colorado. The 1-megawatt (MW) proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer is the first for Amazon and is producing low-carbon H2 to fuel more than 225 H2 fuel cell-powered forklift trucks at the site, known as DEN8.

The Plug 1-MW electrolyzer, which uses electricity and water to produce H2, is able to support up to 400 H2 fuel cell-powered forklift trucks. The H2 produced by the electrolyzer will be compressed onsite and stored in a gaseous H2 storage tank for use by the forklift trucks.

“In Amazon, we have a true partner that recognizes the essential role H2 plays in our collective energy future,” said Plug CEO Andy Marsh. “This project demonstrates Plug’s ability to execute across the full H2 value chain and shows how we can design and implement end-to-end solutions for our customers.”

To date, Plug 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, H2 to power the forklifts is produced elsewhere, liquified and delivered by trucks to an on-site storage and dispensing system.

Plug recognized an opportunity—particularly in locations where more renewable electricity is generated than the site needs at a given time—to use that surplus electricity to produce and store H2 onsite. This model also avoids the emissions typically generated in liquifying and transporting H2 from one site to another.

“H2 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 H2 at Amazon facilities through this partnership with Plug,” said Asad Jafry, the director of global H2 economy at Amazon. “Onsite production will make the use of H2 even more energy efficient for certain locations and types of facilities.”

For this project, Plug provided design, installation, commissioning and maintenance services for the 1-MW PEM electrolyzer and H2 storage—compatible with the existing refueling infrastructure and fuel cells already in use at the site. This is the first electrolyzer system installed and in use at an Amazon site.