Austin radio station installs solar + EV charging stations for sustainability initiative

KMFA Austin radio solar EV Axis

An independent public classical radio station in Austin, Texas, is adding solar to save on energy costs and boost its sustainability efforts.

KMFA Classical 89.5 partnered with locally owned Axis Solar to install an 89.64 kWdc system consisting of 166 rooftop solar panels, the maximum number allowed within city code. Once operational, the solar array will offset an estimated 133 MWh of electrical consumption annually.

In addition to the rooftop solar system, KMFA’s capital investment also includes the installation of four EV charging stations in the company’s parking lot, all of which will be equipped with universal chargers for employees and guests to use in support of the radio station’s broader sustainability goals.

Energy absorbed by the solar panels will be transferred to the city of Austin, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and creating resiliency in the local grid. In return, KMFA will receive credit from Austin Energy, reducing its average monthly power cost by 40-50% and helping to maintain a fiscally responsible future for the organization.

“We want to reduce monthly power costs, rely on renewable sources of energy, and be a small part of solving the lack of power during high demand periods,” said George Preston, CEO at KMFA. “We continue to look for ways to align our practices with our company values to maintain a sustainable, eco-friendly, and fiscally strong workplace. Installing both solar power and EV charging stations does just that.”

The system, including materials and installation, will run $195,000. KMFA is eligible for an Austin Energy rebate of just over $80,000 as well as a Federal Investment Tax Credit under the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act equal to 30% of the remaining system costs. As a non-profit organization, this credit can be received in the form of direct pay. The balance of about $80,000 will be spent from the remaining KMFA capital funds.

With installation underway and estimated completion by end of May, KMFA’s solar system will start generating energy for the local grid just as temperatures and power consumption are on the rise. On order, the EV charging stations are scheduled to be operational by end of June.

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