Plug Power, Inc. (PLUG) shares soar 30 percent on Coca-Cola deal

Posted on Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Shares of power solutions provider, Plug Power, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLUG) surged 30 percent on Thursday after it was announced that Coca-Cola Refreshments USA (NYSE: CO) purchased 37 of Plug Power’s GenDrive fuel cells to power a new fleet of Caterpillar lift trucks at its 250,000 sq. ft. bottling and distribution center in San Leandro, CA.

“This is the second site in the Coca-Cola system to convert an existing lift truck fleet to GenDrive fuel cells,” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power in a statement. “It’s evidenced through these repeat customers the real value of the GenDrive solution. Hydrogen fuel cells are competing with the incumbent power sources and winning because they provide the most benefit for the organization. It’s a simple business decision.”

Plug Power’s GenDrive™ fuel cell is a superior alternative to lead-acid batteries for electric lift trucks.

Previously using lead-acid batteries as a power solution, Coca-Cola is making the transition to GenDrive to take advantage of the increased productivity and improved space utilization offered by the technology.

“Using Plug Power Fuel Cells for our fleet in the San Leandro facility is an example of this commitment,” said Brian P. Kelly, Product Supply Leader, Coca-Cola Refreshments, in a statement. “This innovative use of technology will help us reduce our carbon emissions, streamline our operations and work towards our aggressive environmental goals.”

Plug Power closed deals equating to over 400 GenDrive units in the fourth quarter alone. Some first-time customers include Coca-Cola and CVS.  Plug Power also received follow-on orders from repeat customers like BMW and Walmart Canada. Concluding the successful quarter, Plug Power received letters of commitment from customers for another 250-plus GenDrive power units.

Plug Power manufactured and shipped a record number of units for the full year ending December 31, 2010, meeting its milestone of at least 650 unit shipments for the year. The Company’s Latham, NY manufacturing facility is capable of producing over 10,000 units each year.

“I’m pleased with the continued commercial adoption of our GenDrive solution by new customers and the follow-on orders by existing customers,” Marsh said in a statement.

Shares of PLUG are up approximately 35 percent over the past three months, and recently traded for 61 cents per share.

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