Plug Power: Sign Strategic Supply Agreement With 3M
3M and Plug Power Inc., a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, today announced that they have entered into an exclusive commercial supply agreement for 3M membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), to be used as a critical component in Plug Power's GenSys proprietary proton exchange membrane (PEM) reformate stacks. The continuous run GenSys(R) prime power fuel cell systems are being deployed into rural India and will replace diesel generators at remote telecommunication sites.
The design of the reformate stack allows customers to realize the economic and environmental benefits of fuel cells, while avoiding the logistics involved in transporting pure hydrogen to their remote cell sites. GenSys reforms Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) into a hydrogen-rich reformate that is converted into electricity in the fuel cell stack. The GenSys reformer design is also proprietary to Plug Power. With minor adjustments, Plug Power's system can process a variety of hydrocarbon based fuel stocks such as natural gas.
In May 2009, WTTIL, the cell tower arm of Tata Teleservices Limited, placed an order for 200 units to provide power at cell towers with no or extremely unreliable electric grid service. The initial 200 GenSys systems will be installed by the end of March, 2010 and the Company expects to install approximately 1,000 systems by the end of the same year. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) will provide LPG fuel for the initial 200 installations. Plug Power and HPCL entered into a five-year fuel supply agreement in September of 2009.
Through several years of collaboration between 3M and Plug Power, and research and development support from the United States Department of Energy, Plug Power has successfully developed a robust stack designed to meet and exceed customer requirements. To date, Plug Power's reformate stack designs have accumulated more than 200,000 in-application operating hours in hundreds of units at customer sites. As a result of this extensive in-application testing, the Company has extended the stack life by 70 percent.
Plug Power's reformate stack improves upon similar commercially available fuel cell stacks with a five percent increase in system efficiency. 3M and Plug Power will use the data and learning from field deployments to drive further improvements in MEA, fuel cell stack and system lifetime. In just five years, Plug Power has reduced the cost of its reformate fuel cell by approximately 70 percent, while increasing the power output by 20 percent. Plug Power has also streamlined its design and manufacturing processes, reducing assembly and test time by 60 percent.
Greater stack reliability results in minimized service costs and a faster customer payback. "Plug Power understands the importance of meeting our customers' needs," said Mark Sperry, General Manager of Plug Power's Continuous Power Division. "And, the best way to do that is to provide them with the most reliable and lowest-cost alternative energy solution in the market. 3M is a key partner in achieving this goal, as we are able to leverage its industry leading membrane technology. Through this strong collaborative effort, Plug Power is able to continuously grow its business and increase fuel cell product placement into the market."
An established industry leader in the manufacture of reformate fuel cell stacks, Plug Power has been designing PEM fuel cell stacks since 1997 and has implemented its technology into several of its previous product offerings.
"3M is delighted to be the MEA supplier for this exciting opportunity," said Dr. Eric Funkenbusch, program director of 3M's Fuel Cell Components Program. "Plug Power and 3M have collaborated closely for many years, and 3M has supplied MEAs for many of the Plug Power systems in field deployment." He continued, "Given the interrelated nature of the MEA, fuel cell stack and system, close cooperation, openness, and trust are critical to success. We feel very fortunate to have this type of relationship with Plug Power."
3M is a leading developer and manufacturer of membrane electrode assemblies for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. 3M MEAs are based on a number of core 3M technology platforms, including fluoropolymers, nanotechnology and precision processing. The company's dedicated fuel cell team is focused on addressing MEA related barriers to wide spread fuel cell commercialization including cost, durability and consistency. The MEAs developed for the GenSys stack incorporate a number of significant improvements over the previous generation of 3M MEAs. The U.S. Department of Energy has strongly supported 3M in its development efforts through a number of cost sharing projects and by providing common direction and targets to fuel cell component and system developers.
A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M's core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms -- often in combination -- to a wide array of customer needs. With $25 billion in sales, 3M employs 75,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 60 countries.
About Plug Power Inc.
Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG), an established leader in the development and deployment of clean, reliable energy solutions, integrates fuel cell technology into motive and continuous power products. The Company is actively engaged with private and public customers in targeted markets throughout the world. For more information about how to join Plug Power's energy revolution as an investor, customer, supplier or strategic partner, please visit www.plugpower.com.
Plug Power Inc. Safe Harbor Statement
This communication contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including but not limited to statements regarding our growth plan. We believe that it is important to communicate our future expectations to our investors. However, there may be events in the future that we are not able to accurately predict or control and that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations we describe in our forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, the risk that pending orders will not result in purchase orders, that unit orders will not ship, be installed and/or convert to revenue, in whole or in part; Plug Power's expectations regarding future financial performance; Plug Power's ability to develop commercially viable energy products; the cost and timing of developing Plug Power's energy products; market acceptance of Plug Power's energy products; Plug Power's ability to manufacture energy products on a large-scale commercial basis; competitive factors, such as price competition and competition from other traditional and alternative energy companies; the cost and availability of components and parts for Plug Power's energy products; Plug Power's ability to establish relationships with third parties with respect to product development, manufacturing, distribution and servicing and the supply of key product components; the cost and availability of fuel and fueling infrastructures for Plug Power's energy products; Plug Power's ability to protect its Intellectual Property; Plug Power's ability to lower the cost of its energy products and demonstrate their reliability; the cost of complying with current and future governmental regulations; the impact of deregulation and restructuring of the electric utility industry on demand for Plug Power's energy products; and other risks and uncertainties discussed under "Item IA-Risk Factors" in Plug Power's annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2008, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 16, 2009, and the reports Plug Power files from time to time with the SEC. Plug Power does not intend to and undertakes no duty to update the information contained in this communication.
CONTACT: Plug Power Inc.
(518) 782-7700 ext. 1448