Local non-profit radio station KDRP is on the air, but it’s not plugged into the power grid.
KDRP, located in Dripping Springs, is the first radio station in Texas to be 100 percent powered by the sun. A large solar panel installed near the station’s tower powers its signal.
The system also stores energy so the station can stay on the air at night and on cloudy days. While it would take weeks of cloudy weather to use up the stored solar energy, there is a battery back-up system if all else fails.
"Being a pioneer in a certain area in an industry, I think that's fantastic,” said Leslie Bradshaw, a KDRP advisory board member. “And I'm sure being so close to Austin that it will catch on in Austin and Central Texas."
There are energy efficient modifications inside the studio as well, where light streams in from sun ports, eliminating the need for most electric lighting.
In addition to being an innovation, the green energy is also a money saver for the small independent station.