Sustainability is important to growing industry in the world we live in today. Leading corporations are always on the lookout for new ways to make operations cleaner and more environmentally friendly. Plug Power, the premier systems integrator for hydrogen fuel cell systems, provides companies with an economically viable solution to help them meet their sustainability goals.
Walmart specifically has made clear that they maintain three sustainability goals:
- To be supplied 100% by renewable energy
- To create zero waste
- To sell products that sustain people and the environment
Through a partnership with Plug Power, companies like Walmart can get closer to meeting their objectives.
Since 2012, we have been working together with Walmart to bring a zero-emission power source distribution warehouses in North America. This depends on material handling lift trucks for moving pallets full of perishable foods and consumer products down from warehouse storage shelves and into delivery truck trailers.
Traditionally, lead-acid batteries have powered these warehouse lift trucks. But any grid-dependent power can be polluting, hazardous and wasteful. A fuel cell on the other hand, runs on clean hydrogen fuel. Plug Power’s GenDrive fuel cells are designed as a drop-in replacement for the batteries – you just pull the battery out of the forklift and drop in a GenDrive unit.
do fuel cells produce only heat and water as a by-product, but they also eliminate the need for Walmart to use up valuable space on its
warehouse floor for battery storage and charging. GenDrive fuel cells are
easily refueled by the truck operator in as little as 60 seconds, significantly
decreasing the amount of time lift trucks are not operational during the day.
To date, Walmart has more than 500 GenDrive fuel cell units in operation at several warehouses, including its Washington Courthouse facility in Ohio, and a fresh food distribution center in Balzac, Canada, considered the most energy-efficient distribution facility of its kind in North America.
Most exciting, Walmart is about to expand that number dramatically with a roll out that totals more than 1,700 new GenDrive units to be installed in forklift trucks at six more Walmart warehouses in North America.
Plug Power is making it much easier to bring sustainability to these new sites because it has become a one-stop hydrogen solution provider, delivering fuel cells, hydrogen, maintenance service and support.
Hydrogen-powered fuel cells emit only a small amount of heat and water, making them an environmentally-friendly alternative energy source. By using hydrogen fuel cells in material distribution warehouses, Walmart is deploying lift truck operations that are efficient, clean, quiet, and most importantly, sustainable.