Hummingbird Community Solar Project

Project Summary

When installed on the Hands On Children’s Museum the Hummingbird Project will be one of the largest solar projects in Thurston County, large enough to power at least 12 homes. Subscriptions to the project are publicly available through 800 solar units priced at $300 each. One solar unit represents the energy production of about one third of a solar panel. 

This Project Features:

  • Prevailing Wage Jobs
  • 297 High Quality, Made in Oregon 395 Watt Sunpower Solar Panels
  • Online Energy Production Tracking

Video courtesy of Jenna Mason Media.

Participating Nonprofits

These local non-profits have enrolled in the Hummingbird Project and are eligible to receive solar unit donations.

Media Island International Logo
TCAT Logo
Dispute Resolution Center Logo
Homes First Logo
GRuB Logo
HOCM Logo
Capitol Land Trust Logo
Food Bank Logo

Project FAQ’s

  1. Purchase solar units for yourself or a friend.  Your unit will produce electricity for you for 18 years.

  2. Make a tax-deductible contribution to purchase units for the non-profit of your choosing.

  3. Support the project by liking and sharing our social media (links at the bottom of the page).

The Hummingbird Project is available in 800 solar units. Each solar unit represents an equal portion of the project’s electricity generation, about one third of a solar panel. Each solar unit will generate about 165 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity per year and offset about 150 pounds of CO2.

Participants receive an annual check or direct deposit for the energy their units generate.

Participants will not receive a net financial gain. This system is a not-for-profit system and will be donated to the Museum for their use after all participants have been repaid their initial contribution.

Participants may be eligible for the solar Income Tax Credit (ITC), a one-for-one tax credit equal to $70 per unit. You are responsible for determining your tax liability and for filing your own taxes. The web page Energy Sage has information about filing for your ITC. 

No, the Hands On Children’s Museum will consume the solar energy. There is no change to your electricity service.

We estimate the subscription term will be 18 years, but it could change based on market factors.

The system will produce electricity reliably for at least 40 years, saving the Museum more than $500,000 dollars of utility costs.

Each unit costs $300, and a participant may purchase or donate as many as they want.

Yes, your contribution is held in a secure account that can only be used to purchase the solar energy system. 

The project is fully insured and the project equipment is covered by warranties for the lifetime of your participation.

Performance of the system will be available online to ensure accurate reporting.

Yes, see the cancellation section of the Participation Agreement for more details.

Any Washington State resident or business may purchase units of the Hummingbird project.  Anybody may donate units to an eligible nonprofit.

The Hummingbird Story

We chose to name the project “Hummingbird” because of a story told by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Wangari Maathai

The story begins with a forest being consumed by fire. All of the animals in the forest rush to safety, transfixed and frightened by the fire, except for the little Hummingbird. Flying to the nearest stream, the Hummingbird picks up tiny scoops of water to drop on the blaze, zooming back and forth as fast as it can. Larger animals, like the elephant, stand back and question the Hummingbird, “What do you think you can do? You’re too small and the fire is too big!” The Hummingbird responds without pausing, “I’m doing what I can.”

The Hummingbird Community Solar Project gives our community an opportunity to be hummingbirds and to help move our region towards more clean energy. 

Illustrated Plan for Installation

After a comprehensive bidding process, we selected Seattle-based installer A&R Solar to design and install the Hummingbird project. A&R has over a decade of solar experience and is the largest solar contractor in the northwest.

Model of the Hummingbird Project