[caption id="attachment_373974" align="alignright" width="422"] An aerial view of the solar panels atop Fuel Cafe[/caption]
Sixty solar panels were recently installed on the rooftop of Fuel Cafe in Walker's Point as operators attempt to reduce its carbon footprint and annual operating costs.
The motorcycle-themed bar restaurant opened at 630 S. 5th St. in 2017 as Fuel's second location (the original cafe opened in Riverwest in 1993).
Fuel's $44,000 solar project, which began in late November and wrapped up late last month, will provide only a small amount of electricity needed to power the restaurant, but operators Mojofuco Restaurants and Toro, Toro, Toro expect a return on their investment.
By offsetting the restaurant's previous energy usage by 7.5 percent, the newly installed solar panels will reduce operating costs by an estimated average of $4,300 per year, amounting to more than $100,000 over 30 years, according to an announcement.
“We are fortunate to work with a great landlord who feels like we do about sustainability," said Kristyn Eitel, co-owner of Toro, Toro, Toro. "We’re already reducing waste through our composting efforts, using environmentally-friendly products and local vendors for produce and products and this effort is one more way we can have an impact.”
Fuel Cafe is now one of three restaurants in Milwaukee to use solar power, joining Riverwest Co-op Grocery and Cafe on East Clarke Street and Bounce Milwaukee, located at 2801 S. 5th Court.
Fuel's management team with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett today commemorated the launch of the restaurant's new energy source by flipping a celebratory giant light switch.
"We are thrilled to see Fuel Cafe furthering its efforts to go green,” said Barrett. “Fuel Cafe is creating a more sustainable city for all Milwaukee residents and leading the way for other businesses to do the same.”