Generac takes equity stake in fuel cell company

By Mike Brezonick07 December 2022

Generac Power Systems announced it has made a minority equity investment in Watt Fuel Cell Corp., a Pennsylvania-based developer and manufacturer of low emissions solid oxide fuel cell stacks and systems. No financial details were provided, but as part of the investment, a member of the Generac executive team will join the Watt board of directors. The deal closed on Nov. 23, 2022.

Watt Imperium Generac has taken a minority stake in Watt, a specialist in solid-oxide fuel cells. (Photo: Watt)

Watt produces commercial SOFC products for small scale and remote power applications, including marine, RV, military, oil & gas and residential. The SOFC units generate electricity from hydrogen molecules derived from any of several fuel options, including propane, natural gas or hydrogen. The company’s Imperium fuel cell for home standby applications is a 1 kW hybrid SOFC unit that operates on natural gas.

Generac and Watt plan to collaborate on the design and development of low-emission solutions supporting the resiliency needs of Generac’s customers. The companies will combine Watt’s fuel cell technology with Generac’s clean energy portfolio of products, which includes microinverters and battery storage system solutions.

“We are excited about this investment in Watt Fuel Cell and look forward to collaborating towards the integration of this advanced technology into the Generac Home Energy Ecosystem,” said Patrick Forsythe, chief technical officer at Generac. “The combination of highly efficient fuel cells with solar and energy storage, provides a low-carbon solution for homeowners seeking resilience and energy independence.”

“Generac is the perfect partner to assist us in accelerating the development and commercialization of our fuel cell power generation technology,” said Caine Finnerty, president and co-founder of Watt. “Generac’s strong expertise in residential home resiliency and clean energy products will provide access to a national base of installation partners, thereby accelerating the path to a low carbon future. We look forward to all the incredible opportunities this partnership will provide.”

The investment in Watt is Generac’s second fuel cell-related move in the last three months. In early October, it reached an agreement with French fuel cell specialist EODev to distribute that company’s GEH2 fuel cell power systems in the North American market.

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