Located in east Olympia, Merritt Manor is a low-income housing development with eighty two apartments. Thanks to our installation, each apartment will save about $260 dollars each year on energy. Reducing the energy burden of low-income families is a tangible way to reduce poverty and promote economic justice.
This solar installation consists of 324 solar panels and will produce about 129 megawatt hours of electricity a year, about a third of the building’s total consumption. When our team initially began planning the project we discovered that the electrical meter set up prevented us from installing solar. Our team engineered an innovative solution to replace the tenant meters with a single master meter. In addition to allowing the solar, the new metering setup saves each tenant their monthly utility customer charge.
Special thanks to the Washington Department of Commerce Clean Energy Fund, South Sound Solar, Reliable Electric, Glenn Wells Architecture, and Prime Locations.
Media Island International
In February 2021 the Olympia Community Solar team supported Media Island International to replace their roof and install a 9.3 kW solar photovoltaic system.
Media Island International is a Black Led cultural, educational, and networking center whose focus is to support women of color in their leadership while working with other like-minded individuals and groups who do conscious social justice activism. MII also chooses to support education, organizing and movement building, as well as independent progressive investigative journalism. Learn more about the nonprofit at www.mediaislandinternational.org or Donate directly to Media Island International.
The solar installation will cover 75% of Media Island’s electricity, saving them over $60,000 in the coming decades. Each year this solar installation will prevent pollution equivalent to planting 16,000 trees or not burning almost 6,000 pounds of coal.
Special Thanks to: Shawna Hawk, Director of Media Island International, South Sound Solar, The Hammond Foundation Solar Moonshot Program, The TransAlta Coal Transition Fund, Charles Fisher, TopWeather Roofing and Donors:
Jace Fern, Randi Covin, Nancy Thall, Helenna Lant, Abby Coleman, Chris van Daalen, Westley du Pont, David Albert, Eva Donjacour, Amanda Meyer, Phoe-nix Nebula, Melissa Hammond, Meg Martin, Carolee Johnson, Lisa Strange, Jennea Wood, Elisa Sparkman, Darcy Huffman, Tambra Donohue, Nomy Lamm, Henry Lorang, Robert Berman, Nora Edge, Sara Lewis, Lisa Ganser, Jacob Dinklage, Howard Rosenfeld, Amanda Padgett, Andrea Williams, Raven Hennessey-Swing, Alden Davis, Mo Dole, Molly Voris, Ashley Campbell, Dave Harvey, Michelle Conrow, Jessica Faye, Ken Burch, Ellen Sanchez, September Yew, Alyssa Lyon, Marcy LaViollette, Laura Leister, Cindy Cameron, Sophie Krauza, Pit Kwiecinski, Noah Weiner, Arielle Marie, Daniela Rolph, Warren Neth, Dan Golden, Mel Formicivorus, Dustin Zemel, Melo Rose, Amy troyer-Karas, Lisa Delan, Kelsey Greenwood, Collin Parks, Avery Horton, Lucas Snider, Kelsey Smith, Needle Scart, Claire Tucker Peters, Paula Jellis, Katilda Nash, Eva Donjacour, Sierra Nevada, Craig Hymson, Collin Parks, Gabriel Mbowe, Scott Dubble, Lorna Koestner.
Homes First has a mission to create and maintain healthy, safe, and affordable housing for low and moderate-income individuals and families. Homes First has served over 5,000 people since their founding. They own and/or manage 47 properties, annually providing over 275 tenants with respect, dignity, and support to ensure that they have every opportunity to be successful.
Our team successfully funded two installations on low-income housing in 2019 through a grant from Puget Sound Energy.
We funded a third installation in September 2021 on the Homes First Headquarters.
We funded a fourth installation in October 2021 on a single family home.
Three more installations in progress. Funding goal: about $35,000.
Community Solar Around Washington
Seattle City Light has a community solar program with four fully subscribed projects. These projects include Jefferson Park, the Seattle Aquarium, the Phinney Ridge Neighborhood Association building, Woodland Park Zoo, and the Capital Hill Eco District.
Friends of the Olympia Farmer’s Market installed a solar system atop the Olympia Farmer’s Market in 2011 and was removed in 2020. The system was 37kWs and was owned by 13 community members.
Clark Public Utilities has committed to build and maintain five Community Solar projects adjacent to one another at the utility Operations Center in Orchards. The arrays began generating electricity June 2015.