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Waterworks Eat'n Park to get energy boost from wind turbine

The state's first wind turbine-powered restaurant is coming to The Waterworks shopping plaza near Aspinwall.

Eat'n Park is using the alternative energy source at its new Freeport Road location, which is so close to being completed that an illuminated Smiley Face was installed on the side of the building this week.

An opening date has not been set but is expected for later this month.

A turbine is a device that extracts energy from the wind and converts it to electricity. Generating clean power for the site, the wind turbine is part of the restaurant's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certification.

Andy Dunmire, Eat'n Park vice president of design and construction, said the site will be the first LEED Gold-certified restaurant in the city of Pittsburgh.

"The wind turbine will supply approximately 2,000-kilowatt hours per year," Dunmire said.

The technology demonstrates the company's commitment to becoming more sustainable, he said.

The turbine will generate power when the wind blows to turn a generator to produce energy that is converted to alternating current, or AC, electricity. It will supply power for kitchen equipment, lighting, heating and cooling.

The Waterworks site also will feature Energy Star-rated equipment, recycled construction materials and other sustainable items.

Eat'n Park was founded 60 years ago and has grown to include 76 restaurants in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia.

It has been ambitious in engaging environmental stewardship, showcased by its EcoSteps program, according to Kevin O'Connell, senior vice president of marketing. The ongoing effort includes purchasing locally grown produce through its FarmSource program, purchasing rBST-free dairy items, eliminating placemats and paper towels, and using more energy-efficient light bulbs.

Eat'n Park was awarded the 2009 Harvest Award for Connecting Communities, Farmers and Food for its leadership in eco-responsibility.

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