Amazon and Project Fireball to make hydrogen fuel cells in Spokane ValleyFebruary 16, 2021
The two companies have been working mysteriously for months, and the purpose has finally been unveiled.
For four months, Amazon has been working on a mystery undertaking with the company behind Project Fireball, a large Spokane Valley distribution facility. The purpose of the unknown plan has now been revealed as having to do with hydrogen fuel cell production.
The filing of a building permit has revealed that H2 fuel will be front and center in the undertaking.
The $150.7 million building permit received city approval earlier this month. Though Amazon’s name isn’t specifically written on it, the permit was made out to Project Fireball-GEG2, which has been working with the e-commerce giant based in Seattle. Moreover, to underscore its role in this task, and its purpose in hydrogen fuel, Amazon was identified in a second building permit.
That one was filed by Plug Power for producing what was called the “Amazon GEG2 Hydrogen Project,” at 17205 East Garland Avenue. That address has been identified as a portion of the site upon which the 1.3 million-square-foot distribution facility will one day be built.
It didn’t take long for these filings to come together to reveal the nature of the Project Fireball relationship.
Plug Power is a company based in Latham, New York, which was founded in 1997. It designs and manufactures hydrogen fuel cell systems. These are typically used as replacements for powering electrical vehicles built for lead-acid batteries. The fuel cell systems can be installed into those existing vehicles, such as the forklifts used in distribution centers.
Plug Power, which also has offices in Spokane, as well as Rochester, New York, signed an agreement with Amazon back in 2017. In that agreement, Plug Power provides its hydrogen technology and fuel cells to Amazon’s fulfillment network. Other major Plug Power customers include Walmart, Home Depot, and BMW. That H2 tech company intends to use the Garland Avenue site for the construction of a hydrogen fuel storage and refueling infrastructure, including an “outdoor 18K liquid hydrogen tank and equipment pad, and four indoor dispensers,” said the application for the building permit.
None of the companies involved have discussed the permits or the nature of the agreements or filings with Project Fireball as it is Amazon’s policy not to publicly discuss its future strategies.