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Innovation & Startups

In the Green: Eaton plugs in, Bakery Square green spots and a Siemen's Sustainable Finalist

The Pittsburgh green scene is percolating with goodness: companies and garages plugging in cars, green parking spaces and accolades for the city of Pittsburgh.

Eaton Corp.'s electrical division in Moon Township is the center for the company's foray into the electric vehicle charging market. Eaton is moving aggressively to corner a slice of the growing electric vehicle pie. The components made by Eaton are already powering Mitsubishis in South Carolina and California, says Mark Horner, company spokesman.

The Warrendale Power Systems Experience Center, a show and tell for customers and students,displays alternative energy solutions including vehicle chargers, solar energy and home charging units. Eaton, a leader in the development of hybrid power systems for commercial trucks and buses, employs 750 to 800 in Moon.

"We're deeply involved in sustainability in the whole way we do business," says Horner.

Thinking of going electric? Carnegie Mellon is kicking off its ChargeCar Electric Vehicle Conversion Project at participating garages this month. Baum Boulevard Automotive and other local garages will be on hand to take orders for conversions at  an open house Friday, March 25, at the Electric Garage, 4621 Forbes Ave. in Oakland.

Make room expectant mothers. If you're already driving green, you may qualify for a new perk in East Liberty's Bakery Square parking lot. Twinking off an idea that showed up at Home Depot, Bakery Square is offering preferred parking spots for hybrid and other environmentally friendly cars.  So it must be true, laziness motivates.

And lastly, Pittsburgh is one of nine finalists for the 2011 Siemens Sustainable Community Award, which honors communities across the country for taking sizable steps to improve the region's quality of life as good stewards of the environment while striving for economic soundness. Pittsburgh is among the mid-size communities along with Raleigh, NC and North Little Rock, Ark.

Pittsburgh's application highlighted the reclamation and redevelopment of numerous contaminated brownfield and riverfront sites; the Pittsburgh Climate Initiative; the growth number of green tech companies  here and our history as pioneers of the green movement. Fingers crossed, the announcement will be made April  13th.

Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Mark Horner, Eaton, CMU and the City of Pittsburgh

Image copyright Brian Cohen

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