Hydrogen fuel-cell company Plug Power Inc. has struggled to turn a profit. It is betting that growing appetite for fuel made using wind and solar power will change that.
Plug Power got its start as a manufacturer of hydrogen fuel cells that power vehicles and provide electricity for other applications. The company has pivoted in the past year, announcing a string of green-hydrogen projects as it sets its sights on becoming a fuel maker.
The Latham, N.Y.-based company said Wednesday it is building its first project in Europe at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges in Belgium. Plug Power plans to invest around $315 million in the facility, which it expects to come fully online in 2025. The company said the 100-megawatt plant will have the capacity to churn out 12,500 tons a year of fuel known as green hydrogen, powered by a nearby wind farm and other renewable-energy agreements.
Green hydrogen is manufactured by using renewable electricity to power an electrolyzer that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen. It contrasts with blue hydrogen, which is produced using natural gas and has a higher carbon footprint. In the U.S., Plug Power said it is on track to produce 500 tons of green hydrogen a year by 2025. It has plants in New York and Georgia starting up this year, with two more on the way in Texas in 2023 and California in 2025.