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Plug Power's $2.5 Million DOE Award Will Expedite Fuel Cell Commercialization Outside of Material Handling

2012-11-20 14:15 ET - News Release

LATHAM, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Plug Power Inc. (Nasdaq:PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, has been selected for a $2.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to modify electric tow tractor ground equipment to function with GenDrive hydrogen fuel cells in airport applications. Under a three-year initiative with the DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 15 tow tractors will be deployed at FedEx Express airport hub locations in Memphis, Tennessee and Oakland, California. FedEx will deploy hydrogen fuel cell technology at these sites to study the productivity, efficiency and the environmental benefits of using hydrogen.

"FedEx continually works toward goals to increase vehicle efficiencies and reduce emissions in big and small ways that are sustainable and long-lasting," said Russell Musgrove, Managing Director with FedEx Express. "Plug Power's plan to develop and deploy fuel cell-powered baggage tow tractors aligns with our commitment to continually research and test technologies that will help us connect the world in responsible and resourceful ways."

Hydrogen fuel cells have proven benefits in power applications as a replacement to traditional lead-acid batteries. Customers using hydrogen fuel cells have experienced significant improvements in productivity and operational efficiencies in running their large distribution centers and manufacturing operations. Many of these customers are now interested in extending these benefits to other areas within their business, including ground support equipment applications, other fleet vehicles and refrigerated trailer operations. "Ground support equipment is a natural fit for our GenDrive product, and this project allows us to take our prior expertise in the area and further develop it for future commercialization," said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. "FedEx has been a valuable collaborator for Plug Power in the past and we look forward to continuing our positive work with them as the company evaluates additional markets."

Senator Schumer announced the DOE award in a press release dated October, 31st and re-emphasized its importance in helping to expand the use of fuel cells. "This significant federal award means that Plug Power can continue to help the Capital Region secure its place as an international hub for fuel cell research and development," said Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY). "Plug Power will not only further the development of domestic fuel cell technologies with their plan to retrofit 15 electric tow tractors, the company will also put this innovative technology to practical use as they study the usage of these in real world applications like those at FedEx. I applaud the federal government for rewarding Plug Power's innovation, which is both energy-efficient and cost-effective."

Senator Gillibrand included her support in expanding the use of fuel cells in driving a renewable energy economy. "Plug Power continues to be on the leading edge of fuel cell research and development. This important federal investment is another example of the critical mass of innovation and high technology we possess in the Capital Region," said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). "The initiative between Plug Power and FedEx is yet another example of how green technology drives our innovation and economy by providing energy-efficient and affordable renewable energy alternatives."

Congressman Paul Tonko, an engineer and expert in the House of Representatives in energy policy, added why this award is so important in expanding fuel cells to other markets. "Plug Power is a local example of our national commitment to leadership in advanced fuel cell research and development," said Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY 21st CD). "Plain and simple, research equals jobs. This project is just the beginning of a more energy efficient and cleaner burning transformation of on the ground tractors at our nation's airports. These are the type of investments that create jobs, grow our economy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and make our air cleaner. I commend Plug Power for receiving this competitive federal award and will continue to fight for clean energy innovation funding right here in the Capital Region."

The award was made to Plug Power pursuant to a competitive solicitation issued by the DOE on April 25, 2012.

FedEx Freight has used GenDrive fuel cells in its Springfield, Missouri facility since 2009. Taking a leadership role in the adoption and advancement of responsible environmental practices, FedEx Freight invested in GenDrive to save energy and demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Through this continued collaboration, Plug Power believes this award will help pave the way for expansion of these best practices into adjacent markets, and the further use of hydrogen powered fuel cells as an important source of alternative energy.

About Plug Power Inc.

The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power is revolutionizing 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 Plug Power's key accounts, including Walmart, Sysco, P&G and Mercedes. With more than 3,000 GenDrive units deployed to material handling customers, accumulating over 8.5 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow's incumbent power solutions today. Additional information about Plug Power is available at www.plugpower.com.

The Plug Power Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4446

Plug Power Inc. Safe Harbor Statement

This communication contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.These statements are based on current expectations that are subject to certain assumptions, risks and uncertainties, any of which are difficult to predict, are beyond our control and that may cause our actual results to differ materially from the expectations in our forward-looking statements including, but not limited to: the risk that we continue to incur losses and might never achieve or maintain profitability, the risk that we expect we will need to raise additional capital to fund our operations and such capital may not be available to us; our lack of extensive experience in manufacturing and marketing products may impact our ability to manufacture and market products on a profitable and large-scale commercial basis; the risk that unit orders will not ship, be installed and/or converted to revenue, in whole or in part; the risk that pending orders may not convert to purchase orders; the risk that our continued failure to comply with NASDAQ's listing standards may severely limit our ability to raise additional capital; the cost and timing of developing our products and our ability to raise the necessary capital to fund such costs; the ability to achieve the forecasted gross margin on the sale of our products; the actual net cash used for operating expenses may exceed the projected net cash for operating expenses; the cost and availability of fuel and fueling infrastructures for our products; market acceptance of our GenDrive systems; our ability to establish and maintain relationships with third parties with respect to product development, manufacturing, distribution and servicing and the supply of key product components; the cost and availability of components and parts for our products; our ability to develop commercially viable products; our ability to reduce product and manufacturing costs; our ability to successfully expand our product lines; our ability to improve system reliability for our GenDrive systems; competitive factors, such as price competition and competition from other traditional and alternative energy companies; our ability to protect our intellectual property; the cost of complying with current and future federal, state and international governmental regulations; and other risks and uncertainties discussed, but are not limited to, those set forth in (i) "Item IA-Risk Factors" in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 30, 2012 and (ii) in our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 filed with the SEC on November 14, 2012, as well as in the other reports we file from time to time with the SEC. We do not intend to, and undertake no duty to; update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information or future events.

CONTACT: Media Contact:
         Reid Hislop
         Plug Power Inc.
         Phone: (518) 782-7700 ext. 1360
         media@plugpower.com
         
         Investor Relations Contact:
         Cathy Yudzevich
         Plug Power Inc.
         Phone: (518) 782-7700 ext. 1448
         investors@plugpower.com

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