Plug Power has announced it had participated in the recent grand opening of Ace Hardware’s first all hydrogen material handling fleet at the company’s newly constructed Wilmer, Texas warehouse.

In addition, Ace has ordered further GenDrive units for another distribution center being built in West Jefferson, Ohio.

The grand opening event celebrated the launch of the new Ace Hardware Retail Support Center in Wilmer, Texas, where Plug Power has deployed GenDrive hydrogen fuel cell units for the facility’s fleet of class-2 and class-3 lift and reach trucks.

Plug Power sales executives Fernando Corral and Gary Bush were at the Wilmer facility celebration to congratulate Ace Hardware and provide insight into the benefits of fuel cell usage to participants who toured the warehouse and observed the hydrogen-powered vehicles in action.

The recently completed 450,000-square-foot building is designed to better support Ace Hardware’s growth initiatives, operational productivity and sustainable service capabilities. The site features nearly 90 loading docks where delivery trucks are loaded and unloaded with forklifts that are conveniently fueled in minutes at hydrogen filling stations located on the premises.

Plug Power’s fuel cells have been in operation at the Wilmer, Texas Retail Support Center for the last three months. Efficient run-time results there have given Ace Hardware the confidence to move forward with the deployment of GenDrive units at the distribution center now under construction in Ohio. Upon completion of the Ohio site, Ace Hardware will have over 130 hydrogen-powered vehicles within its organisation.

“On behalf of Plug Power, I am happy to congratulate Ace Hardware on the grand opening of its new Texas distribution center and launch of the all hydrogen GenDrive-powered forklift fleet,” said Fernando Corral, Plug Power’s Vice President of Sales. “Our team is extremely pleased to know that the GenDrive fuel cell units deployed in Wilmer are beginning to provide strong operating efficiencies and we look forward to installing the next round of GenDrive units for Ace at its new facility in Ohio.”

“Now that Ace Hardware’s state-of-the-art retail support center is operating, we can see what a positive difference it makes to have Plug Power’s hydrogen fuel cells in our lift trucks,” said Rick Whitson, Vice President of Retail Support, Ace Hardware Corporation. “Our material handling equipment drivers can re-fuel quickly, and maintain a clean space, while supporting our efforts to use clean energy.”

Ace Hardware’s West Jefferson, Ohio Retail Support center will span approximately 534,000 square feet. Ace Hardware plans to use the GenDrive units for its material handling fleet at the facility.