Fri.
Jan 22
2021
Plug Power Raises $1 Bn In Green Hydrogen Expansion Plan

Image: Morning Brew via Unsplash

Plug Power Inc., the provider of hydrogen engines and fueling solutions, has raised about $1 billion and will push ahead with a strategy to deliver the first nationwide green hydrogen network in the United States, according to a company statement.

The Latham, New York-based company, which seeks to decarbonize logistics and transportation, will build five regional green hydrogen facilities with a total production capacity of 100 tonnes per day. The first two plants should be operational by 2022 and all five will be in production by 2024.

The plan will be based on low-cost clean power prices, including from Apex Clean Energy and Brookfield Renewables. This will be key to making “green” hydrogen – or hydrogen fuel produced using renewable energy – competitive with more common “grey” hydrogen, which is produced with natural gas. Hydrogen itself is desirable for its clean-burning qualities.

“We have identified several locations working with strategic partners where we can produce green hydrogen at parity with grey hydrogen and see further opportunities to reduce the cost of green hydrogen,” said Sanjay Shrestha, Chief Strategy Officer and head of Plug Power’s green hydrogen generation business. “Furthermore, this recently completed capital raise and in house capabilities ideally positions us to accelerate the build out of this green hydrogen network.”

Plug Power shares were down over 7% since the announcement of the capital raise, after rising over 10-fold from its 52-week low.

Plug Power currently supplies fuel cells for forklifts operating in warehouses of companies that include Amazon, Walmart, DHL and others. Plug Power aims to expand from supplying forklifts to heavy-duty vehicles for use in ports. It also sees stationary fuel cells being used to power data centers and distribution hubs.

The money tells a big story, and this is a real shot in the arm to alternative energy development even in niche uses. A little over a year ago, Plug Power itself wasn’t valued at that much more than $1 billion. The fact that its plans can now draw on a willing market for that sum – in cash – says a lot about the current momentum generated by green investments.

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Stephen Bierman

By Stephen Bierman

Stephen Bierman is an energy markets journalist and the editor of New Economy Observer.