Amazon installs hydrogen production system for forklifts

News Story
- 11 Jan 2024 ( #1161 ) - Aurora, CO, United States
2 min read
The hydrogen produced by the electrolyser will be stored on site
The hydrogen produced by the electrolyser will be stored on site

Amazon has installed a hydrogen production system capable of powering 400 hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts at one of its fulfillment centres in North America.

The Plug 1 MW electrolyser, which uses electricity and water to produce hydrogen, is producing low-carbon hydrogen to fuel more than 225 hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts at the site in Aurora, Colorado, known as DEN8.

NASDAQ-listed Plug Power says the 1 MW proton exchange membrane electrolyser is Amazon’s first.

The hydrogen produced by the electrolyser will be compressed on site and stored in a gaseous hydrogen storage tank for use by the site’s fleet of forklifts.

“In Amazon, we have a true partner that recognises the essential role hydrogen plays in our collective energy future,” says Plug chief executive officer Andy Marsh. 

“This project demonstrates Plug’s ability to execute across the full hydrogen value chain, and shows how we can design and implement end-to-end solutions for our customers.”

To date, Plug has collaborated with Amazon to deploy more than 17,000 fuel cells to replace batteries in forklifts in more than 80 fulfillment centres in North America. 

At most of these locations, the hydrogen to power the forklifts is produced elsewhere, liquified and delivered by trucks to an on-site storage and dispensing system.

Plug recognised an opportunity, particularly in locations where more renewable electricity is generated than the site needs at a given time, to use that surplus electricity to produce and store hydrogen on site. 

The model also avoids the emissions typically generated in liquifying and transporting hydrogen from one site to another.

“Hydrogen is an important tool in our efforts to decarbonise our operations by 2040 in support of The Climate Pledge, and we’re excited about our ability to produce hydrogen at Amazon facilities through this partnership with Plug,” says Asad Jafry, the director of global hydrogen economy at Amazon. 

“On-site production will make the use of hydrogen even more energy efficient for certain locations and types of facilities.”

For this project, Plug provided design, installation, commissioning and maintenance services for the 1 MW PEM electrolyser and hydrogen storage, which is compatible with the existing refuelling infrastructure and fuel cells already in use at the site. 

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