First Electrolyzer System Installed at Amazon Fulfillment Center

Plug power hydrogen production equipment

(Credit: Plug Power)

by | Jan 2, 2024

This article is included in these additional categories:

A 1-megawatt electrolyzer has been installed by Plug Power at an Amazon fulfillment center, allowing low-carbon hydrogen to be produced and used on-site.

The fulfillment center, located in Aurora, Colorado, will use hydrogen generated by the new electrolyzer to provide energy for up to 400 hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts. Electrolyzers use electricity and water to produce hydrogen, and when powered by renewable energy sources, they may create emissions-free energy. This is reportedly the first-ever electrolyzer system installed and used at an Amazon site.

Plug has worked with Amazon to deploy more than 17,000 hydrogen fuel cells to power forklifts in over 80 fulfillment centers in North America. Heavy-duty machines such as these benefit, especially from hydrogen power as hydrogen fuel cells, are able to hold large amounts of energy needed to support electric batteries.

“Hydrogen is an important tool in our efforts to decarbonize 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,” said Asad Jafry, 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.”

New Electrolyzer May Eliminate Emissions from Hydrogen Transport

For most Amazon fulfillment centers that have adopted hydrogen fuel cell-powered forklifts, hydrogen is produced elsewhere then delivered to the site. With an on-site electrolyzer, Plug aims to introduce a new model of hydrogen-powered operations that will also eliminate emissions caused by liquefying and transporting hydrogen. Further, the new electrolyzer is able to make use of excess energy often generated by renewable electricity sources that power various Amazon facilities.

Hydrogen produced on-site will be compressed and stored in a gaseous hydrogen storage tank, allowing for the entire hydrogen value chain to take place where the energy source will be used.

In 2022, Amazon announced that it would adopt green hydrogen to power both forklifts and heavy-duty trucks as a replacement for diesel and natural gas. While hydrogen power may decarbonize heavy machinery, the large majority of hydrogen production uses fossil fuels as it is currently more cost-effective. Green hydrogen, or clean hydrogen, uses renewable energy sources and electrolysis for zero-emissions production, but electrolyzers will reportedly need to be produced at a much larger scale in order to make clean hydrogen economically competitive.

Additional articles you will be interested in.

Stay Informed

Get E+E Leader Articles delivered via Newsletter right to your inbox!

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Share This