January 7, 2021 Read More →

South Korea’s SK Group makes big bet on fuel cell maker Plug Power


South Korean conglomerate SK Group is investing $1.5 billion in U.S. fuel-cell maker Plug Power Inc. to boost the use of hydrogen as an alternative energy source in Asia.

The companies are forming a joint venture to provide hydrogen fuel-cell systems, fueling stations and electrolyzers in South Korea and elsewhere, SK and Plug said in a statement Wednesday.

It’s a move that comes as companies and governments around the globe push to use hydrogen in power plants, vehicles and elsewhere in place of fossil fuels. While most hydrogen is produced from natural gas, it can be generated from water through electrolysis powered by renewable energy. When burned, it produces no greenhouse gases.

South Korea has aggressively pursued fuel cells and hydrogen, making it a prime focus for U.S. fuel cell companies. Bloom Energy Corp. recently signed a deal with SK Engineering & Construction to deploy 28 megawatts of fuel cells in the country.

Plug Power, based in Latham, New York, has spent more than 20 years losing money as it pushes to find profitable applications for hydrogen fuel cells. It’s best known for offering fuel cells that run forklifts and other freight-handling gear. But it’s also expanded into stationary fuel cells to run data centers and mobile ones for delivery vans.

[Joe Ryan]

More: South Korea’s SK Group invests $1.5 billion in Plug Power

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