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DT:TV Case Studies

Solar powered art

SunFlowers, An Electric Garden as seen at night

SunFlowers, An Electric Garden designed by Mags Harries and Lagos Heder for Austin, Texas is a sculpture of 15 giant SunFlower covering a thousand feet of space along the Interstate 35 Highway. The solar flowers collect energy to power their blue LED lights at night and send the remaining energy to the city’s power grid. By November 2011, 330,316 kilowatt hours of clean energy has been generated by the sculptures. That’s roughly the equivalent of 10,735 days of electricity usage in an average American house.


On a smaller scale is Darren Saravis’s SolarFlora. These thirteen foot flower sculptures generate solar energy to power its own light as well as outlets at the base of the sculpture that passersby can use for a quick charge. SolarFlora is from the product-development firm Nectar Design, and meant to generate energy from within the heart of a city.

Floralis Generica, open during the day

Perhaps the most stunning is Floralis Genérica of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Built near the National Museum of Fine Arts, the giant sculpture responds to light and opens its petals during the day and shuts them at night. Four nights a year this stunning piece is lit and remains open after dark. The name, Floralis Genérica, is meant to represent all flowers in the world and its opening daily symbolizes a hope that appears anew each day.  Creating green energy through art gives us something visually beautiful in our urban and rural landscapes – surely this is a great way to encourage communities to grasp the potential of clean energy?