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Stark State Considers Options After Surprise Decision by Long-time Partner

Stark State fuel cells
Stark State website
Stark State Fuel Cell Prototyping Center

The Fuel Cell Prototyping Center at Stark State College in North Canton is closing. Since 2006 it’s been a public-private research & development facility and a lab for technology students. But at the end of the year the private-sector development partner is leaving.

Pat Valente
Credit Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition website
Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition website
Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition Executive Director Pat Valente

The Korean conglomerate LG said this week that the development program no longer fits its corporate strategy.

Pat Valente is Executive Director of the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition.  Noting that LG was in final development of a marketable fuel cell for small-scale public utilities, he says the shutdown announcement was completely unexpected.  “We had set up a meeting with JobsOhio for Friday with LG and a couple of our other companies to talk about ‘here’s where we’re going’ and then all of a sudden this happens.  Needless to say LG is not going to be going to the meeting on Friday.”

Valente also says LG’s decision is surprising partly because there are many more fuel cell companies showing interest in Ohio right now.