Plug Power Spokane (google street view)
Plug Power Spokane (google street view)

WARN alerts are issued in WA State when companies close or lay off workers. Worker Adjustment Retraining Notifications are released by WA State ESD. This week, there was one that is getting some attention.

  Spokane hydrogen power cell plant closing.

According to company information online:

"Plug Power Inc. is an American company engaged in the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems that replace conventional batteries in equipment and vehicles powered by electricity." (Wikipedia)

The company is based out of Latham, New York, and has plants in Spokane and Rochester New York.

A WARN alert was released this week indicating 107 workers will be laid off in June, due to what ESD said was a "closing."

 According to Morningstar online, the company announced layoffs that will save the company about $75 million, and help with restructuring going forward. The company made headlines in 2023 with a 40-passenger regional airliner aircraft that took off from the airport in Moses Lake, flew around for about 15 minutes, and reached an altitude of 3,500 feet.

The company has been involved in a number of projects geared toward utilizing hydrogen power for not only vehicles but airplanes as well.

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No word was specifically given as to why they are closing the Spokane plant, but it could be related to the state of natural gas pipelines in WA under Gov. Inslee's green energy mandates.  Hydrogen, if it achieves widespread use, would or could utilize these natural gas pipelines as well.

There has been a noticeable development movement in the area of hydrogen energy in Eastern WA.

The layoffs are expected to commence, and then wrap up in June.

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