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Timken, Stark State, Port Authority team up on nation's first R&D center for large wind-turbine gear

Technical students at Stark State College could be blown away by America’s first R&D center for large wind-turbine gearbox systems.

The Timken Company, Stark State and the Stark County Port Authority are building a Wind Energy Research and Development Center, the first of its kind in the U.S. Timken will use the facility to develop ultra-large bearings and seals on sophisticated equipment that replicates the operating environment of large multi-megawatt wind turbines. 

The $11.8 million research and development center will anchor Stark State’s new Emerging Technologies Airport Campus on 15 acres of property adjacent to the Akron-Canton Airport.

“We are very pleased to launch such an important project for the wind energy industry,” said Douglas Smith, Timken’s senior vice president of technology and quality at the center's groundbreakign in August. “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.”

According to Timken, the 18,000-square-foot center will secure 65 jobs directly, while creating a unique research practicum and technical certification program for Stark State students, offering them critical experience conducting research, developing new designs and testing large wind-turbine bearing systems.  It will also provide critical training for current and future technicians 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 the Ohio Third Frontier, and $1.5 million in loans from the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority's Advanced Energy Jobs
Stimulus Program.

Source: The Timken Company
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