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Solar-powered fried chicken alights on Charlottesville, Ruckersville

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A central Virginia convenience company has earned two extra stripes and some new feathers.

Tiger Fuel Co. this month opened new solar-powered markets and gas stations in Charlottesville and Ruckersville. Tiger Fuel owns and operates each market and gas station. The company now has nine locations in Virginia, mostly in the Charlottesville area.

Tiger Fuel provides home heating fuels and is a petroleum distributor for Exxon, Texaco, Shell, BP, CITGO, Marathon and its own private label EXCEL. Tiger Fuel director of retail operations, Maurice Lamarch, says the company has a reputation for sandwiches but with the new locations is strutting into a new food category: fried chicken.

Lamarche says each new location offers what Tiger Fuel has branded Market Fried Chicken that is made onsite in pressure fryers. He says the chicken will be fresh and never frozen. In addition to the chicken, each location has made-to-order and prepared entrees, appetizers, salads, tacos, desserts and breakfast biscuits.

The new Charlottesville location is called The Market at Preston, which is located on Preston Avenue in the Rose Hill neighborhood. The Market at Preston has a 17.15-kilowatt power system that uses 49 solar panels planned to produce 25,095 kilowatt-hours of power each year. The solar system is planned to meet half of the location's electrical needs.

The Ruckersville location is called The Market at Ruckersville and also has solar-power. Plans call for a 54.4 kilowatt system designed to provide an estimated 59,271 kilowatt-hours of power annually. The solar power system is planned to provide 60 percent of the station’s electricity. Altenergy’s Charlottesville branch designed and installed the power system at The Market at Preston and is working on completing the Ruckersville power system.

The Charlottesville location has a car wash and the Ruckersville location is getting one.

Lamarche says more locations are planned to open in 2019.

“We’re growing,” he says.

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