The Anheuser-Busch (A-B) brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado will soon be replacing their lead-acid battery forklifts for fuel cells. A-B is one of 13 projects that will receive funding to get fuel cells in the workplace.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be allocating $41.9 million to various companies to encourage the use of fuel cell technology in private industry and therefore creating jobs in fuel cell manufacturing, installation, maintenance and support systems. The Colorado brewery will receive $1.1 million to convert its 23 forklifts to fuel cells. That money will be matched by A-B’s $1.1 million toward the project, which is required by DOE awards.

The A-B Fort Collins brewery was chosen because it has been dedicated to environmental matters such as energy efficiency and emission reduction, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent. The addition of the fuel cells will help them to further their emission reduction goals. Since fuel cells are powered by hydrogen and hydrogen-rich fuels, they emit no greenhouse gases.

Fuel cell forklift

Anheuser-Busch will begin using fuel cell forklifts like this one at their Fort Collins, Colorado brewery. Image Credit: NREL

In addition to expanding the use of clean and renewable energy, government officials such as Energy Secretary Steven Chu believe that once people begin to see the benefits of using this technology, the private sector will be more likely to adopt it and the increased demand will drive down the costs.

According to the DOE, fuel cell companies have found success in distributing their products for back-up power systems and industrial equipment such as forklifts. Success in this project may lead to further conversions at A-B’s 11 other U.S. facilities.

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