Special Projects at Homes First

Solar Panels

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February 10, 2021 Update:

Last Thursday Puget Sound Energy installed the final piece of the Hummingbird Project (the electric meter) and energized the project. As of February 4th, 2021 Hummingbird is online and generating energy. WAHOOOO.


The graphic to the left shows the final ownership shares of the project. The 13 non-profit partners own about 60% of the system.


Monitoring: Hummingbird features a SolarEdge monitoring system where you can view the project's production live. Access the monitoring system with this link.


Homes First is excited to join the Hummingbird Community Solar project! For many years, it has been a goal to solar panel our homes in order to further reduce the cost of maintaining a safe and healthy home for our tenants. This new initiative is another reason to celebrate during the Homes First 30th Anniversary!


The Hummingbird Project is a 100 kW community solar system atop the Hands on Children's Museum in Olympia. The project will feature 297 solar panels, online production tracking that shows how much energy the system is generating, and an educational display for the museum visitors!


Additionally, Homes First’s is partnering with Community Solar and Puget Sound Energy to install solar panels on the roofs of many of the 47 properties in the Homes First portfolio. The first two panels are being installed with help from a grant from PSE. Homes First will be apply for other local and state-wide funds to continue to fulfill their dream of not only providing safe and healthy homes everyone can afford but to also reduce energy costs and protect the environment.


The installation of the first panels will significantly reduce pollution, and bring long-term energy cost savings to a single family and a shared Homes First home for adults with developmental disabilities.


Ownership of the Hummingbird project is publicly available in $300 solar units. Each solar unit represents ⅓ of a solar panel and there are 800 units in total in the entire community-wide project. Please support Homes First by donating a solar unit through Olympia Community Solar’s webpage

Merritt Manor

New in 2020, Homes First is partnering with a private affordable housing project to provide on-site tenant and maintenance services.  The Homes First Tenant Services Navigator adds their specific support - one of our unique aspects of affordable housing management.

Merritt Manor is an 82 unit affordable housing project spearheaded supported by the City of Olympia through their 12-year multi-family tax credit to serve families with incomes 60 – 80% of Area Median Income levels. It is located on Martin Way, 5 minutes from both downtown Olympia and downtown Lacey and has excellent bus service to both cities.