Stimulus Act Funds Whole Foods’ Fuel Cell Deployment

Thanks to the 2009 Stimulus Act, Whole Foods Market here will be using 61 fuel-cell-powered forklifts in its Landover, Md., distribution center in 2010.

AUSTIN, Texas — Thanks to the 2009 Stimulus Act, Whole Foods Market here will be using 61 fuel-cell-powered forklifts in its Landover, Md., distribution center in 2010.

The chain is partnering with Plug Power, provider of the GenDrive fuel cells, and GENCO Supply Chain Solutions, to complete this installation. The funding for the fuel cells is part of a $6.1 million award made to GENCO in April 2009 by the U.S. Department of Energy through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known as the Stimulus Act.

Alliance Material Handling, a Maryland-based Crown lift truck supplier, will supply the forklifts for this site. Conversion to GenDrive fuel cell power units can reduce material handling fleet emissions up to 80%, said Plug Power.

“Whole Foods Market is committed to healthy food and a healthy planet. We are fulfilling that commitment by choosing to use greener technology in our own operations that will improve our productivity and lower our long-term costs,” said Joe Strong, facility team leader at Whole Foods, in a statement.

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