Community Solar is a model of solar energy development where a group of people own and benefit from a single solar array.
It’s a way to address barriers to solar access for:
- Renters & non-homeowners
- Those that cannot afford the cost of a residential solar installation
- Homes that are unsuitable for a solar installation.
The Sunflower Community Solar Project
The Sunflower Project is fully enrolled! Our New Community Solar Project on Thurgood Marshall Middle School is Open for Enrollment!
March 3rd, 2022: Workers begin construction at the Olympia Farmers Market
June 12th, 2022: Members of the Thurston Chamber of Commerce, South Sound Solar, The Olympia Farmers Market, and Olympia Community Solar commission the project.
ABOUT SUNFLOWER COMMUNITY SOLAR
For decades local farmers and craftspeople have been selling their wares at the Olympia Farmers Market and in 2021, for the first time in the Market’s 46 year history, solar energy went on sale.
Community solar is when a group of people join together to create a single solar project and share it’s benefits. Because the project is located at the Farmers Market, participants don’t need their own sunny roof. The public had the opportunity to purchase or donate “solar units”. Each solar unit represents a subscription to the energy from half a solar panel. Sunflower’s unique model uses clean energy to support broader social equity by allowing donations of solar units to local non-profit organizations. Donations are tax deductible, and the non-profit of your choice will receive the benefits from the Solar Unit’s production.
The Sunflower Project includes 198 Washington-made solar panels on the roof of the Olympia Farmers Market. Local solar installer South Sound Solar designed and installed the system which provides 100% of the Market’s electricity needs.
“The Olympia Farmers Market is excited to incorporate solar energy into the daily function of our organization,” said Brett Warwick, Director of Operations at the Olympia Farmers Market. “We are constantly searching for opportunities to benefit our community, and this includes environmental consciousness. We hope to lead by example by taking steps to decrease our carbon footprint. I am confident Olympia Community Solar and South Sound Solar will provide the Market with a well-crafted array of panels for all to enjoy in the decades to come.”
Dedicated to Community Leader: Steve Wilcox
Steve was the driving force behind the creation of the original community solar installation on the Olympia Farmers Market. For years Steve managed the solar project for the Market and it’s vendors.
Steve was a vendor member of the Market for many years and was a founding member of the Friends of Olympia Farmers Market. Steve loved life and all its possibilities. He was a dreamer who believed in the human potential. He was a loyal friend to many.
Steve passed away on July 28th, 2017 at the age of 72. Donations in his honor may be made to the Friends of Olympia Farmers Market.
Featured Nonprofit: Friends Of Olympia Farmers Market
ABOUT THE TECHNOLOGY
Whats a Solar Unit?
A Solar Unit represents a portion of a community solar project’s capacity. Sunflower project Solar Units represents 180 Watts, or one half a solar panel.
Each Sunflower Solar Unit will generate about $15 dollars of electricity per year. Participants will receive 2% interest on their units before Sunflower is donated to the Farmers Market.
Washington-Made 380w Solar Panel
Up to 21.4% Efficency
30 year Product Warranty
30 year Production Warranty
Manufactured by Silfab Solar
The four 14.4 kW AC SolarEdge inverters are reliable and meet high standards of electric grid safety requirements. We choose to invest in an extended 20 year warranty.
Solar optimizers improve perfomance and provide module-level monitoring.
Public Production Monitoring
Sunflower features web-based production monitoring so project participants and market visitors can watch the real time energy output. Sunflower is projected to produce 79,000 kWhs of electricity each year, enough to power more than 8 homes.