The Olympia Farmers Market, Olympia Community Solar and South Sound Solar are excited to announce a partnership to complete the Sunflower Community Solar Project. Community solar projects such as Sunflower expand solar access to those without access to traditional residential solar - people who don't own their home, have an unsuitable roof or property for solar or face financial barriers to incorporating solar. A group of community members participate in a single solar project and share its benefits. As a central place to gather and support local business and agriculture, the Market is ideal for providing a beautiful community solar array.
The Sunflower Project will include 200 Washington-made solar panels above the entrance of the Market. South Sound Solar will design and install a 75-kilowatt system to produce enough energy to power the entire Market by September 2021.
Ownership of the project is publicly available in $300 solar units that represent about half a solar panel. You can also support a local nonprofit by donating a solar unit. You or the nonprofit of your choice will receive an annual payment for the value of the unit's electric 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 the sun and a clean energy future.
"South Sound Solar is Thurston County's first solar installer, founded in 2008. They supported the Friends of the Market with the original solar project, and we are so grateful to collaborate with them as part of the Sunflower project," says Mason Rolph, President of Olympia Community Solar.
"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 pavilion with a well-crafted array of panels for all to enjoy in the decades to come.”
The public can support the project by purchasing or donating solar units. Learn more at olysol.org/sunflower.