"We'll never run out of power:" New solar-powered flower blooms at Garden District Farmers' Market

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Friday was a great day to unveil the newest solar power devices at the Garden District Farmers' Market and Community Gardens. If you don't look closely, you may mistake the new solar panels as art.

If you're driving down 6th Street on Milwaukee south side, it's hard to miss.

"We wanted something that stood out and was unique," said Bryan Simon, Owner of Simon Landscape, Chair of the Green Corridor and the Director of non-profit The Energy Exchange.

Past the garden and amongst  the thorns -- a flower.

"It's John Deere green and yellow but you could easily mistake it for Packers green and gold," said Simon.

An Art Deco flower with a purpose. Styled after a budding blossom, the 6 panel solar power flower took 3 years to design, develop and produce.

"This is the first one if its kind," said Simon.

Funded by a grant from Milwaukee Shines, the solar flower will power outlets in stalls at the farmers' market and the recycled rainwater stream and pumps that supply the community garden with harvested water.

"It'll produce 1.5 kilowatts per hour," said Simon.

This is the most visible of the 'green' infrastructure projects installed along S. 6th Street -- a 3 mile stretch known as the 'Green Corridor.'

"The Green Corridor is meant to be a living laboratory. This block that we're standing on is greatly improved over the last 3 years. One project at a time and this is just a suitability project," Alderman Terry Witkowski.

When the power it produces for the gardens isn't being used, it'll send it back to the grid and store up power for the future.

"So we'll never run out of power," said Simon.

The solar flower was unveiled at a news conference on Friday, May 8th. Also highlight, 3 new solar-powered pedestrian crossing signs and solar-lighted bus shelter.

"The value then is we have a better experience for the vendors here for the customers or the folks who come to enjoy it," said Milwaukee County 14th District Supervisor, Jason Haas.

The Garden District also has plans to build a water feature in the center of the park, as well as more sculpture art and some sitting areas and a stage for people to perform.