The Timken Co., Stark State College and the Stark County Port Authority officially broke ground on a wind energy research and development (R&D) center in Ohio.
Timken plans to develop ultra-large bearings and seals on equipment that replicates the operating environment of large multi-megawatt wind turbines at the facility.
The $11.8 million center represents a collaborative effort between Timken, Stark State College, the Stark County Port Authority and the Stark Development Board. The center will anchor Stark State's new Emerging Technologies Airport Campus on 15 acres of property adjacent to the Akron-Canton Airport.
‘The ground-breaking was the first step toward improving the performance and efficiency of the mechanical power transmission systems used in the wind energy industry,’ says Douglas Smith, Timken's senior vice president of technology and quality. ‘Being able to simulate real-world conditions at full-scale puts us in a unique position to rapidly assess and qualify new solutions for the industry.’
The 18,000-square-foot center will secure 65 jobs directly, while creating a research practicum and technical certification program for Stark State College students, offering them experience conducting research, developing new designs and testing large wind turbine bearing systems, according to Timken. The center will also provide training for current and future technicians across the spectrum of operating services required by today's wind turbine manufacturers and operators.
Joint funding for the project combines more than $6 million invested by Timken, $2.1 million from Ohio's Third Frontier Commission and $1.5 million in loans from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority's Advanced Energy Jobs Stimulus Program.