Advanced hydrogen fuel cell power solutions highlighted at inauguration of new sysco Houston warehouse


More than 100 business leaders and government representatives today attended the official ribbon cutting for Sysco's new 585,000-square-foot food distribution facility in North Houston. The company showcased its hydrogen fuel cell technology that powers its pallet trucks and forklifts. Sysco Houston's entire warehouse fleet, comprised of 72 pallet trucks and 26 forklifts, utilizes Plug Power's GenDrive™ hydrogen fuel cell power units. Hydrogen fuel cells have a life of up to 10 years, considerably more than the average three to four years for incumbent batteries. Additionally, as compared with lead-acid batteries, the fuel cell power sources extend the life of the trucks and deliver a steady source of power, significantly reducing the wear on lift truck motors. Utilizing GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells also means that battery charging and changing equipment, as well as reserve batteries, are eliminated from operational costs. The power units are fueled by operators in as little as two minutes. At the same time, Sysco is no longer responsible for the disposal of toxic lead-acid batteries. And, because hydrogen is a clean fuel, greenhouse gas emissions at the facility are significantly reduced. The only by-products generated by the material handling equipment are heat and water. The new facility also houses Air Products' hydrogen technology and fueling infrastructure that allows the company to receive liquid hydrogen fuel, convert it to a gaseous state, and then dispense it into the fuel cells through two hydrogen fuel pumps located in the new warehouse. The fueling dispensers are strategically located to optimize operator time and improve efficiency. Today's event included presentations by Sysco executives, the Department of Energy, and the Greenspoint District, as well as demonstrations of the technology by Sysco partners Plug Power and Air Products. 'Sysco is committed to energy and operational efficiency, and consistently strives to find a greener way of doing business,' said Larry Pulliam, Executive Vice President, Foodservice Operations for Sysco. 'We are proud to introduce our first installation without battery infrastructure for a pallet truck fleet, and hope that this may lead to further conversions at other facilities.' This cost-shared hydrogen fuel cell project includes a grant provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Editors note: For still photos go to For VNR go to About Sysco Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other customers who prepare meals away from home. Its family of products also includes equipment and supplies for the foodservice and hospitality industries. The company operates 186 distribution facilities serving approximately 400,000 customers. For the fiscal year 2009 that ended June 27, 2009, the company generated more than $36 billion in sales. Sysco Houston's distribution facility is at 10710 Greens Crossing Boulevard in North Houston. For more information about Sysco visit About the U.S. Department of Energy Fuel Cell Technologies Program The mission of the Fuel Cell Technologies Program is to research, develop, and validate fuel cells and hydrogen production, delivery, and storage technologies for transportation and stationary applications. The objectives of the program are to: dramatically reduce dependence on foreign oil; promote the use of diverse, domestic, and sustainable energy resources; reduce carbon emissions from energy production and consumption; and increase the reliability and efficiency of electricity generation. The Fuel Cell Technologies Program is part of the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. About Plug Power The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power revolutionized the industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints. Long-standing relationships with industry leaders forged the path for our key accounts, including Sysco, Wegmans, Whole Foods, and FedEx Freight. With more than 1,000 units in the field and over 1.5 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow's incumbent power solutions today. Visit us at About Air Products Air Products (NYSE:APD) serves customers in industrial, energy, technology and healthcare markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, and equipment and services. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. The company is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment. In fiscal 2009, Air Products had revenues of $8.3 billion, operations in over 40 countries, and 18,900 employees around the globe. More information can be found at

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