Plug Power Inc., provider of energy solutions, has confirmed a new collaborative agreement with Walmart to facilitate further expansion of its ongoing relationship with Walmart Stores, Inc.

Plug Power expects to provide its GenKey hydrogen (H2) fuelling station and fuel cell energy solutions to up to 30 additional Walmart sites in North America over the next three years, with 10 sites already under contract and scheduled to be finished by the end of 2017.

The value of these 2017 commitments is expected to be around $80m. On average, Plug Power has deployed a new Walmart site every six weeks since 2014, resulting in a deployed fleet of 5500 Plug Power fuel cells at 22 of Walmart’s US distribution centres as of the end of 2016.

Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power

Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power

Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, said, “Our expanding relationship with Walmart validates Plug Power’s advanced capabilities in fuel cell products and systems, allowing the world’s largest retailer to maintain its leading position as an industry innovator.”

He continued, “Walmart’s long-term supply agreement is a great example of our strategy in action, as it enables us to improve both our revenue visibility and cost structure, all while allowing our customers to experience improved productivity and operational cost savings. We see a growing market opportunity for our power and fuelling station technologies within the material handling segment, as well as new mobility applications worldwide, positioning us for long-term success and shareholder value creation.”

The new agreement is a key milestone in a longstanding relationship with Walmart, which has been at the forefront of fuel cell technology adoption and commercialisation in material handling, becoming Plug Power’s first GenKey customer in 2014. Plug Power supplies the retail giant with fuel cells, H2 fuelling stations, and ongoing maintenance services.

Plug power gen fuel

Plug Power’s H2 fuelling station for fuel cell forklifts

Today, Walmart operates the largest fleet of H2 fuel cell powered electric vehicles in the world, totalling more than 6,600 units in distribution centres across North America. Plug Power’s H2 fuel cell technology replaces traditional lead-acid batteries, helping customers increase warehouse productivity with a more emery efficient solution, while reducing the costs and sustainability issues related to traditional battery maintenance.

“Plug Power’s material handling solutions represent a critical component in our supply chain,” said Jeff Smith, Senior Director of Logistics Maintenance and Purchasing Services. He continued, “Plug Power’s H2 fuel cell technology, coupled with their innovative fuelling stations has proven to be a reliable, cost-effective alternative to traditional energy solutions.”