Illustration: A rendering of the solar ring and retractable cover by José Suárez

“The amphitheater at Bayfront Park, one of Miami’s signature performing arts venues downtown, will soon get a halo-like ring of solar panels and a retractable roof…

FPL says the solar ring will be one of the largest urban solar projects in the country. But it won’t be a moneymaker for the city. The proposed contract says FPL would pay a $10 annual license fee, and the power generated would go into FPL’s grid…

In addition to the solar ring above the amphitheater, FPL plans to install a large canopy of solar panels to provide shade next to the venue, as well as seven “solar trees” nearby. All told, FPL estimates there will be nearly 1,700 new solar panels at Bayfront Park generating about 500 kilowatts of energy for the grid.

Illustration: A rendering of a solar tree in Bay of Pigs Park from Florida Power and Light

Solar trees will also soon be sprouting in parks around the city, another result of FPL’s push to invest in solar. The commission on Thursday gave the green light for installation of the curved pole structures in several parks in Commissioner Manolo Reyes’ District 4, including Bay of Pigs Memorial Park, West End Park and Coral Gate Park.

The city will receive slightly more in licensing fees for the solar trees than for the amphitheater — $50 per kilowatt, with a 2-percent annual increase over the 15-year contract. FPL project manager Kathleen Campanella told commissioners that would likely come to $1,000 to $1,500 per year for the city.

Parks in other districts could get solar trees if their commissioners express an interest. At least some would feature charging stations for electronic devices…”

— Aaron Leibowitz, Miami Herald