Bloom Energy

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Bloom Energy Corporation
Traded asNYSEBE
PredecessorIon America
FounderK. R. Sridhar C.E.O , John Finn, Matthias Gottmann, James McElroy, Dien Nguyen
Key people
K. R. Sridhar (founder, CEO)
Productsregenerative solid oxide fuel cells
US$-85 million (2008)[2]
OwnerKleiner Perkins (among others)

Bloom Energy is the company that develops, builds, and installs Bloom Energy Servers.[2] The company, started in 2002 by CEO K. R. Sridhar,[2] is one of 26 named a 2010 Tech Pioneer by the World Economic Forum.[3]


In October 2001, CEO K. R. Sridhar met with John Doerr from the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.[4] Sridhar asked for more than $100 million to start the company. Bloom Energy eventually received $400 million of start-up funding from venture capitalists, including Kleiner Perkins[5] and Vinod Khosla.[6]

The company, originally called Ion America, was renamed Bloom Energy in 2006.[7]

Sridhar credited his nine-year-old son for the name, saying that his son believed jobs, lives, environment, and children would bloom.[8] Michael R. Bloomberg appeared at the launch by video link.[9] Bloomberg's business news network covered the event, but attributed every statement to "Bloom Energy".[10]

The CEO gave a media interview (to Fortune Magazine) for the first time in 2010, eight years after founding the company, because of pressure from his customers.[2] A few days later he allowed Lesley Stahl of the CBS News program 60 Minutes to see the factory.[11] On February 24, 2010, the company held its first press conference.[7]

Bloom Energy's well-known customers include Walmart, Staples, AT&T, Adobe, Coca-Cola, eBay, Google, Bank of America, FedEx, Life Technologies,[12] Safeway, Yahoo!,[13] Apple and The Home Depot.[14]

In July 2014, the company announced a "long-term strategic partnership" with Exelon Corporation to finance "fuel cell projects at 75 commercial facilities in California, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York."[15]

In October 2016, the electric utility Southern Company announced that its PowerSecure subsidiary is buying 50 megawatts of fuel cells from Bloom Energy. PowerSecure will package the fuel cells with Lithium-ion batteries with the intent of selling the technology, with related infrastructure, to corporate and industrial customers under long-term contracts. PowerSecure's technology helps businesses maintain operations through grid blackouts.[16] The installations could qualify for a California subsidy for batteries that enable customers to reduce their use of electricity from the grid at peak times.[17]


  1. ^ Bloom Energy Strikes Deal to Shift HQ to North San Jose - Mercury News
  2. ^ a b c d Keegan, Paul (February 19, 2010). "Is K. R. Sridhar's 'magic box' ready for prime time?". Fortune. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  3. ^ "Bloom Energy Shifts Power via Fuel Cells". BusinessWeek. December 7, 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  4. ^ "The Bloom Box: An Energy Breakthrough?". CBS News. February 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  5. ^ "The Bloom Box: An Energy Breakthrough?". 60 Minutes. February 21, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-22.
  6. ^ Coursey, David (February 23, 2010). "Why I'm Bullish on Bloom Energy". PC World. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  7. ^ a b "Bloom Energy unveils its 'Bloom Box' fuel cell". San Jose Mercury News. February 24, 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  8. ^ Gaylord, Chris (22 February 2010). "Bloom Box: What 60 Minutes left out". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
  9. ^ "Live from the Bloom Box press event". Engadget. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  10. ^ Chediak, Mark (24 February 2010). "Bloom Energy Says Generator Can Produce 100 Kilowatts (Update1)". Bloomberg.
  11. ^ "Bloom Energy Revealed on 60 Minutes!". Greentech Media. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
  12. ^ "Life Technologies Moving 'Off the Grid' with Clean Energy Fuel Cells". 19 July 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-24.
  13. ^ Hull, Dana (2014-07-31). "Yahoo is Bloom Energy's latest customer". SiliconBeat. Retrieved 2014-12-07.
  14. ^ Fehrenbacher, Katie. "Apple, Home Depot Turn to Bloom Energy As Its Tech Advances". Fortune. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Exelon and Bloom Energy Partner to Provide Clean Distributed Power to Commercial Customers". Bloomenergy. 2014-07-29. Retrieved 2014-12-07.
  16. ^ Fehrenbacher, Katie. "Why Southern Company and Bloom Energy Are Combining Fuel Cells and Batteries". Fortune. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  17. ^ Fehrenbacher, Katie. "Why Southern Company and Bloom Energy Are Combining Fuel Cells and Batteries". Fortune. Retrieved 20 January 2017. The tech union could also possibly help Bloom Energy continue to access certain incentives, like a California subsidy that more recently has pivoted toward batteries and away from fuel cells.