Austin’s Solar SunFlower Electric Garden

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Every now and then, you see something just knocks your socks off.  It’s either beautiful or creative or cutting-edge or all three.  And that’s what happened when I read about these solar SunFlowers created by Mags Harries and Lajos Héder for Catellus Development Company in Austin, Texas.  The permanent public art display was switched on in July and features 15 SunFlowers – photovoltaic solar collector panels on welded steel frames and stems. 

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Harries/Héder was given a budget of $595,000, which was funded mostly by the developer and with the help of Austin Energy and Applied Materials.  

The SunFlowers have built in LEDs that light up at night and dazzle local Austinites.  Power is fed into the grid to run the LEDs, and the rest is used to offset costs associated with maintenance and operations.  

The initial purpose of the now iconic display – referred to as SunFlowers, An Electric Garden – was to buffer and beautify a bike path trail running between loading docks and Texas highway I-35.  But they now provide shade and a symbol for the city that prides itself on sustainability.  If you’re driving through town, you’ll probably not miss these, especially at night.  

[+] LOOK: SunFlowers, An Electric Garden by Good.

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Photo credits: David Newsom and David Newsom Blog.


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  • http://mportlandhomes.com/ M Realty

    They are very nice looking, but how much electricity do they create each? Is this something that can be used elsewhere to the advantage of Austin?

    -Tyler

  • Anonymous

    Absolutely beautiful. Great job.

  • Anonymous

    PV is only one possible solar application. Austin Energy’s best kept secret is solar thermal rebates. Solar water heating for residences and solar process heat for commercial businesses. The technology is mature and is already viable economically. Austin solar

  • Piky

    you are a son of a bitch

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