KTAO is the United States’ first radio station powered by solar energy. It has 140 photovoltaic panels that generate enough energy to transmit radio waves 64 km across and across the world through the Internet.
Using the sunny climate of New Mexico, KTAO’s solar panels generate an amount of 100,000 watts of green energy. To promote the use of solar energy the people from KTAO organize a music festival every year, known as the Taos Solar Music Festival.
KTAO is not a new radio station, it broadcasts music using solar energy since 1991. You can also hear the stream online from anywhere in the world, because KTAO turns the sun rays into audio streams, distributed via the Internet (you must have Media Player or Winamp installed).
Telecom operators have also taken important decisions lately regarding the usage of renewable energy as their backup or even primary source of power in some cases. In South Africa, for example they equipped the BTSes with solar panel, but they were stolen not a long time after that (if copper is being stolen from BTSes, what about solar panels?).
Anyway, it’s an interesting idea, but only such a green radio station cannot make any difference unless others join. The operators wanting to do that should take advantage of the new wave of solar panels, thin film or any organic solar cell, that is much more cheap than the classic, silicon-based one.