Below is a partial press release on a residential fuel cell
Offered by Steve.
Plug Power was originally formed as a joint venture between DTE Energy Co., (the parent of Detroit Edison and Michigan's largest electric utility), and Mechanical Technology Inc.or MTI (an early developer of fuel cell technologies). In 1999, General Electric and Southern California Gas Company, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy joined as equity holders in the company. Our goal is to develop and manufacture affordable fuel cell systems for residential, small commercial and automotive applications.
Plug Power is the largest PEM fuel cell development company in the US, and we have the resources, desire and determination to be the best. The company was formed in June 1997 with 22 people and $9 million in funding. Since that date, our employee base has grown to more than 260 employees, and we have also received a $15 million award from the US Department of Energy (DOE). This is the single largest award ever granted for automotive fuel cell research. Three months after receiving this award, Plug Power, along with the DOE, its Los Alamos National Laboratory, and Arthur D. Little, was first (and to our knowledge is still the only) team to demonstrate a gasoline to electricity fuel cell (see Press Releases). The fuel cell used in this test continues to perform extremely well in our laboratory today, and in May 1999 we demonstrated a high efficiency, low emission integrated automotive fuel cell system.
Along with our automotive achievements, Plug Power has a strong residential development program. In June of 1998, we introduced the world's first fuel cell powered home using our prototype system, the Plug Power 7000. This system has been designed to provide the average-sized house (3,000-4,000 sq. ft) with its total electricity needs, independent of the utility grid. Commercial production of this system is planned for 2001. (see Press Releases) Plug Power is a leader in the race to become the first company to build one million fuel cell systems. In order to win this race, we are bringing together a team of specialists in the areas of fuel processing, fuel cell stack design, battery design and other key components of the system.
We also plan to create strategic partnerships with other relevant organizations, including utilities, distributors and other manufacturers. In February of 1999, Plug Power and GE Power Systems formed GE Fuel Cell Systems. This joint venture will sell, install and service Plug Power-designed and manufactured systems on a worldwide basis. (see Press Releases) As many as 25 million households in the United States alone will be able to benefit from fuel cell power generation. This figure is based on a variety of criteria, including geographic location and current cost of electricity. As the technology continues to develop and market forces evolve , this number will rise significantly.