Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) CEO Interview: Andy Marsh Explains the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Power Future

July 26, 2022

Plug Power [NASDAQ:  PLUG] President and CEO Andy Marsh

Plug Power [NASDAQ: PLUG] President and CEO Andy Marsh

Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) President and CEO Andy Marsh joined the hydrogen fuel cell power company in April 2008.

Under his leadership, Plug Power has been a leading innovator in the alternative energy field, helping create an entirely new hydrogen fuel cell (HFC) market in the material handling space.

This new market has proven to be one of the first successful endeavors to commercialize HFC technology, and today, the firm’s fuel cell solutions, including its GenKey suite and ProGen engine line, are leveraged by global marketplace leaders such as Amazon, Walmart, and Carrefour to power industrial electric vehicles.

As the Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) President and CEO, Marsh plans and directs all aspects of the organization’s goals and objectives, and is focused on building a company that leverages Plug Power’s combination of technological expertise, talented people and focus on sales growth to continue the company’s leadership stance in the future alternative energy economy.

Under his leadership, Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) continues to spearhead hydrogen fuel cell innovations in both mobility and stationary applications, and his ability to generate revenue growth of more than 296% since 2012 has landed Plug Power on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 list in both 2015 and 2016.

Previously, Mr. Marsh was a co-founder of Valere Power, where he served as CEO and board member from the company’s inception in 2001, through its sale to Eltek ASA in 2007.

Under his leadership, Valere grew into a profitable global operation with over 200 employees and $90 million in revenue derived from the sale of DC power products to the telecommunications sector.

Prior to founding Valere, he spent almost 18 years with Lucent Bell Laboratories in a variety of sales and technical management positions.

Mr. Marsh is a member of the board of directors for the California Hydrogen Business Council, a non-profit group comprised of organizations and individuals involved in the business of hydrogen.

He holds an MSEE from Duke University and an MBA from SMU.

In August/September 2017, Mr. Marsh was invited to join the Global Hydrogen Council as well, an international council of major auto manufacturers that is focused on the proliferation of hydrogen fuel cell technologies.

“Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) built the first commercial market for fuel cells.

We’ve shipped over 60,000 fuel cell products — so more than anyone else in the world.

These are used primarily in distributions and manufacturing facilities to power forklift trucks.

We also have built over 185 fueling stations. So that capability and that turnkey solution really was just the starting point.

Today, we’re building the first green hydrogen network across the United States, which by 2025 will produce over 200,000 tons a year of green hydrogen.

We’re in a wide variety of applications around the world, be it for on-road vehicles with our JV with Renault in France called HYVIA, to generating hydrogen in Europe with our partner ACCIONA, the largest provider of renewable green hydrogen.

With SK, the second largest conglomerate in South Korea, we are building large-scale stationary products to provide power to the grid.

And in Australia, we’re leveraging our electrolyzer technology, and we’re building a gigafactory with Fortescue Future Industries to be able to build large-scale electrolyzers for that market.

So Plug [Power (NASDAQ:PLUG)] is known as the global leader in fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. We’ve been doing this for a long time, 25 years.

From a company-culture point of view, this is a very entrepreneurial company.

You don’t create a market from scratch, which Plug has done, without being entrepreneurial.

And we’ve gone from $1 million in revenue when I started with the company 14 years ago to doing $925 million in revenue this year.

And then, as we’ve grown, we’ve also added processes and the right folks. We’re building out large-scale manufacturing led by people who built out the Tesla gigafactory in Reno, Nevada.

The company is broadly recognized as the manufacturing leader in this space, and to do that you need to have discipline. And we add processes which allow us to move faster in keeping with our entrepreneurial company business model.”

Hydrogen fuel cell power is global and Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG) is participating in the next phase of its development:

“In the United States, in the infrastructure bill, there’s actually $9.5 billion for clean hydrogen initiatives; $8 billion for four hydrogen hubs and about $1.5 billion for manufacturing and electrolyzers.

That’s really just the start.

For example, on the hydrogen hubs, we’re closely working with the northeast hub being driven by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority — NYSERDA.

And Plug is instrumental in defining the plans and outlines for what a northeast hub would be.

We’re also deeply involved in the hubs for West Virginia and California. I think everyone who looks at the infrastructure bill wants us involved, knowing Plug is the U.S. leader.

In the climate bill, one of the areas that has not been controversial is support for the generation of green hydrogen.

It’s something that Senator Manchin and Senator Schumer both strongly support, which would have a production tax credit for green hydrogen which would be $3 a kilogram.

A kilogram is about equivalent to two gallons of gasoline.

So that’s a really exciting prospect for Plug [Power (NASDAQ:PLUG)], and we think there’s a two in three chance that it will become law.

On top of that, when you go to Europe — Europe has a very, very aggressive plan to support green hydrogen deployment.

I was in Denmark this week and Denmark has a plan to have 65 gigawatts of wind power by 2030.

Most of that wind power would be used for the generation of hydrogen, via parts like our electrolyzers.

We already have one deal in Denmark with a company called H2 Energy that is supported by Trafigura which will deploy 1 gigawatt of our electrolyzer products in the near future. So, a very strong climate to support hydrogen in Europe.

And you see the same in Korea where the Assembly this past May passed edicts on deployments of hydrogen.

And leaders like Mackenzie, Goldman, BloombergNEF all believe that approximately 20% of the world’s energy will come from hydrogen.

And many people know that Plug [Power (NASDAQ:PLUG)] is the leader in this area.”

Andy Marsh, President & CEO, Plug Power (NASDAQ:PLUG)