Thunderbolt, a solar-powered sculpture by COFA artist Bonita Ely, has been unveiled at Sydney Olympic Park, to mark the Games' 10th anniversary.

The 5.8 metre high artwork, commissioned by the Park Authority, is made from a recycled windmill from Broken Hill. It uses photovoltaic technology and live data from Energy Australia to raise awareness about domestic energy consumption.

"When nearby electricity consumption is low the sculpture is green," says Dr Ely, who is Head of COFA's Sculpture, Performance and Installation area. "As energy usage increases it changes to yellow/green, yellow/red and finally to red, which indicates that usage is high."

Dr Ely created Thunderbolt under the auspices of COFA's The Environmental Research Initiative for Art (ERIA). She worked with a team that included fellow COFA staff member Allan Giddy, who is ERIA's founding Director, and Bany Jaya and Rob Largent from the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, with assistance from Energy Australia and The House of Laudanum, a digital solutions company.

Media Contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW media, 9385 1583 or 0422 934 024.