December 23, 2016
NY Green Bank Announces Its First Transaction to Expand Fuel Cell Use at Businesses Across New York State, Creating Up to 100 Jobs
$25 million Loan to Latham, N.Y.-based Plug Power plans to finance 1,300 fuel cell systems at distribution centers in the State over three years
Transaction advances New York State goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
NY Green Bank today announced the closing of a $25 million senior loan for Plug Power, a Latham, N.Y.-based fuel cell manufacturer, to support the deployment of 1,300 fuel cell systems in New York over the next three years at distribution centers for clients such as Walmart and Home Depot. Under the agreement, NY Green Bank is incentivizing Plug Power to create up to 100 new jobs in New York, equivalent to 15 percent per year. The transaction will advance New York's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 from 1990 levels.
This transaction is NY Green Bank's first completed transaction in the fuel cell industry, and its participation is expected to encourage greater interest from banks and other capital providers in financing fuel cell projects in the State.
"Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, NY Green Bank is overcoming barriers to financing for clean energy projects and helping build the clean energy economy in the State," said Alfred Griffin, NY Green Bank President. "This latest NY Green Bank transaction will help reduce greenhouse gases and protect the environment."
Plug Power's systems are fuel cells that fit into existing electric forklift, pallet jack and other industrial truck fleets. The fuel cells replace currently used lead acid batteries with cleaner, more efficient fuel cell technology. The technology replacement is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 870 cars off the road and keep them off the road for 10 years.
NY Green Bank is one of several financial institutions, including tax equity providers, that are providing capital to Plug Power. NY Green Bank's transaction is expected to make it easier for Plug Power to obtain future private capital at commercially attractive rates. The financing is also significant because it allows Plug Power to install more systems and convert more forklift fleets in a shorter period of time than was previously possible.
By advancing fuel cell manufacturing, NY Green Bank is helping to standardize financing for this technology, provide a proven financing track record for these types of projects and develop a project portfolio, all of which can reduce capital costs.
Founded in 1997, Plug Power is a public company with 278 employees in New York State and 536 worldwide. It had a market cap of $236.6 million as of December 22. The leading hydrogen and fuel cell systems manufacturer, Plug Power has installed 13,000 fuel cells globally, systems which are designed to increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints in a reliable, cost-effective way. Currently, Plug Power systems are primarily used in mobility applications, specifically forklifts and transportation vehicles at distribution centers through the U.S. Plug Power's turnkey solution couples together all services needed to operate customer sites - such as installing necessary infrastructure, procuring hydrogen fuel used to operate the systems and providing ongoing operations and maintenance. Many of its clients are major corporations in the consumer goods industry.
"Plug Power has proudly called New York our home since 1997, and with the continued support of the state we have built a large commercial enterprise that has grown 300 percent since 2012," said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power. "We are honored to work with New York State to stimulate impactful greenhouse gas reduction, greater innovation, advanced manufacturing, and meaningful job growth within our state lines."
NY Green Bank is a division of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and a key component of New York's 10-year, $5.3 billion Clean Energy Fund (CEF) to accelerate the use of clean energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency, and spur economic development in New York State.
With a $1 billion capitalization, NY Green Bank is the nation's largest green bank and is a critical component of Governor Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy to build a clean, affordable and resilient energy system for all New Yorkers. Its work will also help New York achieve its Clean Energy Standard that 50 percent of all electricity used in the State come from renewable sources by 2030.
"This NY Green Bank transaction advances Governor Cuomo's clean energy strategy in New York State, expands private sector investment and creates jobs," said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. "It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while bringing fuel cell technology to New York companies across the State."
NY Green Bank's current active pipeline (i.e., transactions where there is agreement in principle between parties and momentum to move the transaction toward final execution and closing) includes community solar; residential and commercial energy efficiency; residential solar, commercial and industrial solar; municipal, university, school and hospital energy efficiency; microgrids and fuel cells.