LATHAM, N.Y. – June 18, 2002 -- Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) today announced that the California Energy Commission (CEC) has certified the Company’s 5kW stationary fuel cell system complies with the requirements of California’s "Rule 21" grid interconnection standard.
The CEC and California’s investor-owned electric utilities spent more than a year jointly developing Rule 21, which streamlines otherwise complicated interconnection, operating and metering regulations and processes applicable to distributed energy generators. Rule 21 will ensure safe connection to the electric grid in the state of California and, at the same time, encourage the installation of small generators to reduce the demand on California’s electrical system.
Plug Power’s system is the first fuel cell system to be certified under this standard. This designation will significantly reduce the time, cost and complexity for interconnection with California’s three investor-owned electric utilities. Companies whose systems lack this certification will be required to have their systems individually tested and certified by the utility, adding cost and time to the installation process.
"Interconnection to the electric grid is a critical element in developing a viable distributed generation project, " said Plug Power CEO and President Dr. Roger B. Saillant. "The Rule 21 certification will significantly accelerate our process of ‘order to operation’. Now that Plug Power is certified in the state of California for grid-interconnection, we believe we can manufacture, deliver, install and connect a fuel cell system within 10 weeks. This certification distinguishes Plug Power’s product from others in the fuel cell industry and supports California’s objectives to deploy fuel cells and relieve the stress on the electrical grid."
The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency. Created by the Legislature in 1974 and located in Sacramento, the Commission has five major responsibilities: forecasting future energy needs and keeping historical energy data, licensing thermal power plants 50 megawatts or larger, promoting energy efficiency through appliance and building standards, developing energy technologies, supporting renewable energy and planning and directing state response to energy emergencies.
Plug Power designs, develops and manufacturers on-site electric power generation systems utilizing Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cells for stationary applications. Plug Power’s fuel cell systems are expected to be sold globally through GE Fuel Cell Systems, L.L.C. and through DTE Energy Technologies in a four-state territory, which includes Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana. The Company’s headquarters are located in Latham, N.Y., with offices in Washington, D.C. and The Netherlands.