Check Out These SOLAR Powered SUN Flowers In Austin
What are those blue things that look like flowers made of solar panels near Best Buy in Austin? Actually, that’s exactly what they are – Solar powered SUNflowers!
SunFlowers, An Electric Garden is a public solar art display designed by artists Mags Harries and Lajos Heder in 2009. Just like real flowers, these artistic flowers transform sunlight into energy. Comprised of 15 photovoltaic SunFlowers, this fully functional solar project absorbs sunlight that is used to power beautiful blue LED lighting at night.
Solar SunFlowers Concept Illustration – Credit: harriesheder.com
Solar Powered SunFlowers At Night
Credit: David Newsom
In their artists’ statement Harries and Heder described the significance of the work:
The sun sustains all of our lives. All of our energy is originally solar energy, it has created our world and fuels all our activities. Coal and oil are stored solar energy, but they are running out, and obtaining and processing them causes problems. For our future, it is a question of how we capture and use solar energy, so that it keeps us going without environmental catastrophe.”
We set out to create something new and fitting for the Mueller Redevelopment and for the whole city of Austin. Sustainable development and environmental stewardship are a high priority here. We decided to put our project to work creating renewable energy, as well as shade and comfort along the bike path. Natural sunflowers process solar energy to grow, ours do it to light themselves at night and to put extra kilowatts of electrical energy into the grid.”
A datafeed of the solar energy production is available online. Since the sunflowers were commissioned in November of 2009 they’ve generated over 306,688 kilowatt hours of clean energy which is equivalent to offsetting more than 448,000 miles worth of carbon emissions from the average American car.
Solar-Friendliness In Austin
Local utility Austin Energy provided a solar rebate which made the project possible. The solar installation is a true symbol of Austin’s sustainable culture and progressive nature. As of July 2014, Austin Energy’s power generation mix was at 23% renewable energy including a mix of solar and wind.
Under their Climate Protection Plan, the City of Austin has committed to producing 35% of local power requirements using renewable resources like solar energy by 2020. Additionally, all City of Austin facilities, fleets, and operations will be made totally carbon-neutral by 2020.
Austin Energy $7,000 Dollar Solar Power Rebate
Austin-ites who go solar can take advantage of the Austin Energy Solar Rebate program , under which homeowners can receive up to $7,000 dollars worth of incentives toward the cost of installing solar panels on a residence.
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