Why Plug Power (PLUG) Is Popping

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Plug Power  opened the session with double-digit percentage growth on Monday after announcing it had signed a significant contract with a leading North American retailer.

By market open, shares had added 18.2% to $3.66. A mere five weeks into the year, the stock has exploded 137.4%.

The alternative fuel cell developer said it had received a "significant GenKey contract from a leading retailer to roll out its turnkey hydrogen fuel cell system solutions."

Over a two-year period, the company will install its equipment in six North American distribution centers, the first of which will be operational in the second quarter of 2014.

The Latham, NY-based business said the partnership cements its position as the top global proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system provider. This type of fuel cell uses the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to convert to electrical energy. Plug Power said the deal also proved this fuel source is becoming mainstream.

"We've, without a doubt, clearly demonstrated our leadership position as the premier provider of industrial fuel cell solutions. In the coming year, we plan to grow not only in the material handling industry, but also expand into other fleet vehicle applications such as transport refrigeration units, ground support equipment and range extenders," said CEO Andy Marsh in a statement.

Currently, Plug Power has deployed more than 4,500 GenDrive units to clients such as Wal-Mart , Procter & Gamble , and BMW.

Plug Power's rally is pulling others in the industry higher in morning trading. Ballard Power Systems has gained 7.3% to $2.20, while FuelCell Energy  has climbed 2.1% to $1.45.

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