Chipotle Mexican Grill is kicking up LEED a notch by opening a partially wind-powered restaurant in Gurnee, Illinois. The six-kilowatt wind turbine is capable of supplying up to 10% of the facility's electricity demand. The turbine, and several other green features, are being deployed as part of the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for Retail pilot program.
Gurnee being several miles from the Lake Michigan shore, capacity factor for the turbine is likely to be sub-optimal. But, the novelty factor will certainly draw customer attention. Americans, after all, are new to the sight of a wind turbine in a retail or commercial setting. Here's an example of the same idea from Kings Creek Hotel in Australia (below).
Land Zoned For Commercial and Retail Is a Natural Fit For Wind Turbines
Wind turbines in a commercial/retail setting are less likely to create conflict with residential property owners (the roar of traffic will generally exceed the hum of the turbines anyhow). Putting them in that setting is good for public education as well, as familiarity generates acceptance (pun intended).
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