Bloom Energy plans to reopen its Delaware sites on Monday as the company uses its manufacturing capabilities in the fight against coronairus.
Bloom spokesperson Natalia Blank said that “after a thorough cleaning of the Bloom Energy Manufacturing Center in Newark, we plan to reopen the plant on Monday morning. Our team member whose loved one may have been exposed to COVID-19 remains in quarantine without showing any symptoms of illness, and we will continue to monitor his health situation.”
Blank continued, “In the meantime, while Bloom Energy will continue to manufacture an essential product that is directly relevant to the challenges we have on hand today, Bloom is also modifying our existing manufacturing facilities in California and Delaware to be able to produce the essential medical equipment the country needs to respond to the growing COVID-19 pandemic, specifically as the U.S. faces a critical shortage of ventilators.”
Bloom Energy has been working with the State of California to begin refurbishing out of service ventilators, successfully refurbishing 24 units over the weekend.
Bloom is working with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency to establish repair services in Delaware, similar to those services already set up in Sunnyvale for California, Blank stated.
Blank noted that Bloom ia in contact with other states to see how we can support their anticipated ventilator needs from our manufacturing facilities in Delaware and California. The company estimates it could refurbish as many as hundreds of ventilators a week.
“As an American based manufacturer, we take our responsibility to this country seriously and we stand ready to serve,” Blank stated.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said has spoken to the company’s CEO K.R. Sridhar who told him the company is repurposing old ventilators, according to the Sacramento Bee. The Bee said the state has ventilators on hand that need refurbishing.
A severe shortage of ventilators has emerged an issue in the fight against COVID-19. The ventilators are essential for breathing for severely ill patients with the disease.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also indicated that he will work to help secure more ventilators.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has pointed to a severe shortage of machines that aid breathing in patients with advanced cases of coronavirus.
Bloom’s main fuel cell manufacturing site is in Newark, DE. However, the San Jose, CA-based company still does some manufacturing work in northern California.