02 Mar 2024

Plug Power to see demand for hydrogen-based power backup systems from data centers

02 Mar 2024  by reuters   
Plug Power (PLUG.O), opens new tab said on Friday it expects demand for its green hydrogen fuel cell storage systems from data centers to pick up in the second half of 2025.

The company said due to restrictions of diesel engines and the need for continuous power supply, fuel cells that use green hydrogen, which is a zero-carbon energy fuel, could be used as backup power options for data centers.

"So when you look at the three major data center operators, Plug is engaged and planning some initial deployment and tests with all," Plug's CEO Andrew Marsh said on a conference call, without naming the operators.

"I don't think it's a 2024 event, I think it could be a late 2025 event where you start seeing some deployments at some scale."

Electricity demand in the United States is expected to boom from power-hungry artificial intelligence-based data centers, with some utilities reporting deals to bring the new load on in the next year or two.

With industry leaders such as Amazon (AMZN.O), opens new tab, Microsoft (MSFT.O), opens new tab and Google (GOOGL.O), opens new tab seeking to improve sustainability by reducing their carbon footprint and moving away from diesel usage, there could be increased demand for hydrogen in stationary business applications, said James West, analyst at Evercore ISI.

According to Boston Consulting Group, by 2030, the electricity needed to power generative AI platforms would be equivalent to the power required for about 5 million U.S. homes.

Plug Power in its fourth-quarter call also said it was close to finalizing on its billion-dollar loan facility with the U.S. Department of Energy.

The hydrogen fuel cell company has been facing liquidity issues amid supply challenges in the liquid hydrogen market in North America. But Plug on Friday cleared its going concern doubts, which it had raised in November.


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