Special Projects at Homes First
Sunflower Community Solar Project at Olympia Farmers Market
The Homes First team is excited to announce that we are participants in the Sunflower Community Solar Project at the Olympia Farmers Market! Please support our organization by donating a solar unit! Our non-profit will receive the value from what each solar unit produces every year.
Community solar projects expand solar to those who can’t access residential solar - people who don't own their home, have an unsuitable roof or property for solar, or who face financial barriers! A group of community members participate in a single solar project and share it’s benefits. The Olympia Farmers Market is a treasure of our community and a central place to gather - it is an ideal location for a beautiful community solar array.
The Sunflower Project will include 200 Washington made solar panels right above the entrance of the Market. South Sound Solar will design and install the 75 kilowatt system that will produce enough energy to power the entire Market. The project is available for community ownership in the form of solar units. Solar units represent about half of one of Sunflower’s solar panels.
Please consider donating a solar unit to our non-profit! Our non-profit will receive an annual payment for the value of the unit's generation.
The Sunflower project will bring long-term energy cost savings to the Market, significantly reduce pollution, and provide educational opportunities for all the Market’s visitors! Sunflowers are heliotropic, meaning they turn their blossoms to face the sun. With this solar project the Farmers Market is turning towards a clean energy future!
“The Olympia Farmers Market is excited to incorporate solar energy into the daily function of our organization. We are consistently searching for opportunities to benefit our community and this includes environmental consciousness. We hope to be an example of progress by taking steps to decrease our carbon footprint so we can give more to the people of the South Puget Sound. I am confident Olympia Community Solar and our selected contractor, South Sound Solar, will provide the Market pavilion with a well-crafted array of panels for all to enjoy in the decades to come,” says Brett Warwick, Director of Operations at Olympia Farmers Market.
This new system is dedicated to Steve Wilcox and donations in his honor may be made to the Friends of Olympia Farmers Market. The public can support the project by purchasing or donating solar units. Learn more at olysol.org/sunflower.
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.
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.