Alliance Material Handling, a Maryland-based Crown lift truck supplier, will supply the forklifts for this site. The fleet will consist of 45 Class 3 pallet jack and 16 Class 2 standup reach trucks, all powered by GenDrive PEM fuel cells manufactured by Plug Power.
The decision to move from lead-acid batteries was facilitated by the opportunity to improve productivity in Whole Foods Market’s Maryland operations, while also achieving environmental and economic benefits.
The funding for the Plug Power fuel cells is part of a $6.1 million award made to GENCO in April by the US Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
While the Plug Power GenDrive fuel cell units provide customers with increased economic value through productivity increases, they also allow customers to reduce their carbon footprint by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use and charging of lead-acid batteries used in materials handling equipment.
Whole Foods Market already has fuel cell power plants running at two stores in Glastonbury, Connecticut and Dedham, Massachusetts. The 200 kW and 400 kW PureCell phosphoric acid fuel cell systems were supplied by Connecticut-based UTC Power.