30-foot-tall solar sunflowers soak up energy in Austin, Texas

Installation artists Mags Harries and Lajos Héder have completed the largest public art installation for Austin, Texas: a set of 15, 30-foot-tall "sunflowers" studded with solar power petals. The flowers use the energy gathered during the day to power blue LEDs at night, illuminating the bike path they flank. On top of that, they toss about 15 kilowatts of extra energy into the grid daily.

The project was originally part of a call to block the unsightly truck docks around the back of a strip mall, and is titled "Sunflowers, An Electric Garden." We have to wonder how the residents of Austin find the piece, though — the start of something great, or is it just an eyesore?

Click through for a shot of the solar sunflowers at night.

Harries/Héder, via GOOD, via Inhabitat