Telefónica Móviles to Deploy Plug Power Fuel Cells in Venezuela

July 17, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Plug Power Inc. announced that Telefónica Móviles, one of the two largest wireless providers in Latin America, will begin deploying Plug Power's GenCore® backup power systems in Venezuela. The initial deployment includes nine backup fuel cell systems that were purchased through Plug Power's Venezuelan distributor Corpo Teletecnical. The systems will be placed at tower locations with critical backup needs in the greater Caracas area. This new deployment follows the completion of a successful eight-month trial at an active Telefónica Móviles wireless location outside of Caracas. The GenCore system responded effectively to several grid outages during the trial period, including one that lasted approximately 12 hours, providing power and maintaining tower operation when the ac grid failed due to overloading and weather-related factors.

Telefónica Móviles has approximately 700 towers in Venezuela and more than 10,000 sites across Central and South America. Richard Croce, Energy Manager of Telefónica Móviles in Venezuela identifies candidate sites for GenCore use as those where there is insufficient space for additional batteries or a generator, or where generators are prohibited due to noise or pollution issues or weight restrictions. Additional opportunities are expected to emerge as Telefónica Móviles continues to identify sites where traditional backup infrastructure frequently fails due to extreme weather conditions and an unstable electric grid.

According to Croce, "Telefónica is clearly the leader in network reliability while reducing our environmental impact across the network. We chose Plug Power's fuel cell backup power technology over additional investment in batteries and generators due to GenCore's robust reliability and clean, quiet operation. We believe GenCore clearly represents the next step in evolution of network reliability, and we look forward to further deployment of GenCore systems in the Venezuelan network."

"We are glad to count Telefónica, a global leader in telecommunications, as a Plug Power customer," said Mark Sperry, Plug Power's Chief Marketing Officer. "Plug Power is equipping telecommunications service providers with the technology to improve the reliability of their networks and their customers' experience, while reducing customer churn and revenue losses due to failure of traditional backup energy infrastructure."

Plug Power is also participating in GenCore trials with Telefónica Móviles in other key markets including Mexico, Brazil and Spain. Product trials in Mexico and Brazil are being conducted with Plug Power's distribution partner Tyco Electronics Power Systems.