November 1, 2011—Walmart, Coca-Cola, Sysco and Whole Foods are the leading adopters of fuel cell technology among U.S. corporations, according to a new report highlighting the strength of the U.S. fuel cell industry.
In a little more than a year, 34 corporate customers have installed, deployed or purchased more than 250 fuel cell power systems and hundreds of backup power units, totaling more than 30 megawatts (MW) of power, plus more than 1,000 fuel cell-powered forklifts.
“Companies are collectively saving millions of dollars in electricity costs while reducing carbon emissions by hundreds of thousands of metric tons per year using fuel cell forklifts and power systems,” says Jennifer Gangi, program director, Fuel Cells 2000, the non-profit organization that released the report, titled “The Business Case for Fuel Cells 2011: Energizing America’s Top Companies.”
“The U.S. is the world leader in both fuel cell-forklift deployments and combined heat and power installations, with both markets dominated by American fuel cell manufacturers, helping provide jobs and opportunities for export. All the companies profiled in this report are using fuel cells from suppliers with headquarters in the U.S.,” Gangi adds.
In 2010, Fuel Cells 2000 profiled 38 companies that collectively ordered, deployed or installed 15 MW of stationary power, 1,000 forklifts and 600 backup power units. This new 2011 report includes 24 new customers and 10 companies previously profiled that purchased additional units. Companies leading the charge with fuel cell deployment include:
- Walmart – 6.8 MW at 17 stores; 70+ forklifts
- Coca-Cola – 2.1 MW at four locations; 72 forklifts at two bottling facilities
- Sysco – 500+ forklifts at several locations, hundreds more on order
- Whole Foods – 1.2 MW at four grocery stores, 60+ forklifts
“Fuel cells are not only helping businesses boost their environmental and economic bottom lines, they are also providing a much-needed assist to American manufacturing,” says Gangi. “Newcomers like NBCUniversal, Kroger, and Kaiser Permanente and repeat customers such as Coca-Cola, Walmart and AT&T are helping keep the U.S. at the head of the pack in the clean technology game.”
Bart King is frequent contributor to Sustainable Life Media and PR consultant at Cleantech Communications