Residential fuel cell joint venture

GE Power Systems and Plug Power are to form a joint venture company to sell, install and service fuel cell systems worldwide.

Under an agreement signed in September, the joint venture company — GE Fuel Cell Systems — will distribute Plug Power designed and manufactured fuel cells for residential and small commercial applications. GE will be Plug Power`s distributor of fuel cell systems worldwide.

GE is also planning to sign agreements with a number of gas distribution companies, power marketers, electric utilities and electric service companies to complement the recent deal.

Plug Power recently demonstrated its prototype 7 kW residential power system that produces more than enough power to meet the energy requirements of an average-sized home. The sale of test units is expected to begin early next year, followed by commercial units in 2000.