Hummingbird Community Solar Project

Project Summary

Located atop the Hands On Children’s Museum, The Hummingbird Project will be one of the largest solar projects in Thurston County. The project is separated into 800 equally sized solar units priced at $300 each. These solar units represent an equal portion of the solar array’s electricity generation. One solar unit is equivalent to about one third of a solar panel. Each solar unit will annually offset about 150 pounds of CO2

This Project Features:

  • Prevailing Wage Jobs

  • 297 High Quality, Made in Oregon Sunpower Solar Panels

  • Online Electricity Production Tracking

Details and Enrollment

In our webinar, we discuss:

  • Your solar units
  • The enrollment process
  • Benefits to the Hands on Children’s Museum
  • Donating solar units to nonprofits organizations
  • Educational benefits
  • Long term impact and the creation of a legacy!

Video courtesy of Jenna Mason Media.

Project FAQ’s

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

Participants will receive an annual check equal to how much 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. 

No, the museum will directly use the energy. There will be no change to your electricity bill.

We estimate participant payback in about 16-19 years, but it could take more or less time based on market factors.

The system will produce energy reliably for at least 40 years, saving the Museum an estimated 1/2 million dollars of utility costs.

Each unit costs $300, and a participant may purchase 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.

Participants may be eligible for the Federal Income Tax Credit (ITC), a one-for-one credit equal to 26% of the system cost. The ITC has a value of $70 per unit. You are responsible for determining your tax liability and for filing your own taxes. The webpage Energy Sage has information about accepting the ITC. 

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

  1. You may purchase units. Purchase a unit of the community solar project for a fixed upfront cost. Olympia Community Solar holds your capital in a secure account until the solar equipment is purchased and installed. Participants are eligible for an Income Tax Credit and will receive an annual check for the value of their share of solar power. Participants may direct their annual checks to a friend or family member.

  2. You may donate units. Make a tax-deductible contribution to OCS which we use to purchase units for a non-profit of your choosing.

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 amounts 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. 

The rest of the story is yet to be written…

Illustrated Plan for Installation

Our Solar Installer

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

Model of the Hummingbird Project