Sun Solutions: A local catering company gets a solar panel rig for their new digs

Festival of Light—The striking chandeliers in FYE’s new Kensington event space are partially powered by a solar rig on the roof (inset).
story by Lee Stabert | main photo by Albert Yee
Feast Your Eyes Catering was in Northern Liberties before the hordes. Now, they’re in South Kensington, in a spectacular space carved out of an old barrel factory. They moved so they could add an event space to their off-site catering services. And what a space it is: Rustic wood and soaring industrial beauty are paired with spectacular custom chandeliers by local artist Warren Muller.

Sustainability was a huge factor in the renovation process. In addition to extensive efforts to reuse and donate salvaged wood from the site, owners Skip Schwartzman and Lynn Buono commissioned Andrew Kleeman at Eos Energy Solutions to install a rig of solar panels on their roof. Based locally in Fairmount, Eos does both commercial projects and smaller residential solar systems.

Though the project required a $50,000 investment, Feast Your Eyes was able to take advantage of a wealth of financial incentives for businesses that install solar systems. The Pennsylvania Sunshine Program offers a $15,000 rebate, and the federal government supplies another $15,000 through Section 1603 of the stimulus bill. (Residential systems are eligible for a different set of tax credits.) Kleeman asserts that between the cash perks and decreased energy bills, “These days, it costs less to get your power from the sun than it does to buy it from PECO.”

Once construction began, the solar rig—comprised of 36 panels—was up and running within a week. Since the launch in October, FYE has already reduced their carbon footprint by 2,500 lbs. That works out to just shy of eight tons of carbon per year that they’re keeping out of the atmosphere.

Eos’ systems can be monitored from any web connection. Feast Your Eyes installed an LCD screen in their lobby, showing off their new toy to visitors. Now potential clients will know that the light emanating from Muller’s jaw-dropping reclaimed lighting collage above their heads gets its juice sustainably, from something even further above their heads. ■

For more information on Feast Your Eyes Catering, visit fyecatering.com; for information on Eos Energy Solutions, visit eosss.com.