LATHAM, N.Y., March 19, 2004 — Plug Power Inc., a provider of clean, reliable on-site energy, announced that its GenCore® fuel cell product has been installed and is currently providing backup power to a remote cellular telecommunications tower in the United Kingdom.
Plug Power is providing backup power to the remote cell tower in Elgin, Scotland in collaboration with Orange, one of the world’s most advanced and fastest growing mobile communications companies; FDT Associates, provider of design and construction services for telecommunication sites throughout the UK and Northern Ireland; and BOC Group, one of the largest hydrogen gas suppliers in the world, serving two million customers in more than fifty countries.
“We are delighted to be showcasing the very first hydrogen-powered mobile base station,” said Ian Guthrie, Operations Manager for Orange in Scotland. “This breakthrough means we will be able to extend our network to new areas not presently covered. We are also pleased that we have been able to do this in a cost-effective way, while minimizing the environmental impact to the surrounding area.”
The cell site is situated in a forest, 1,500 feet above sea level at the Huntly Nordic Ski Center training site, and provides telecommunication coverage between Rhynie and Elgin. The site’s prime power is supplied by an LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) generator provided by Harrington Generators. Plug Power’s GenCore® system, which is fueled by hydrogen, is providing backup power to the remote location.
“This project represents the potential solution to a very real problem,” said John Peake, FDT Managing Director. “Not only could this project help address issues with existing sites, but also could solve future problems when new sites are erected.”
“The system is quiet and has had no impact whatsoever on our skiing environment,” said Sandy Thorn, Duty Manager of the Huntly Nordic Outdoor Center. “This is the first time we have had full network coverage in the area. In the past, if an accident occurred we would have had to drive to call an ambulance.”
The system was installed in January 2004 and has provided more than 550 hours of backup power to the site.
GenCore®5T is Plug Power’s first direct hydrogen product based on a proprietary, modular, scaleable, architected platform. The GenCore® 5T is a 5kW product designed to increase network reliability while reducing lifecycle costs for telecommunication networks.
Orange is one of the most advanced and fastest growing mobile communications companies in the world, with more than twelve million customers in the UK and over 30 million customers worldwide. Orange is ranked the number one mobile telephone service provider in the UK for the past four years.
About Plug Power
Plug Power Inc. designs and develops on-site energy systems based on proton exchange membrane fuel cells. Plug Power’s strategic partners include GE Fuel Cell Systems, DTE Energy Technologies, Vaillant GmbH, Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Engelhard Corporation and Celanese Ventures. The Company’s headquarters are located in Latham, N.Y., with offices in Washington, D.C., and The Netherlands.