KEZW Goes Green with Solar

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KEZW-AM, a 10kW non-directional day, 5kW directional night, has served the Denver area on 1430 since 1954. The transmitter was moved to its current location in the 1960s where the five-tower inline array stands today. Entercom has owned the station since 2002.

solar panel array

What sets KEZW apart from many AM stations is the attention Entercom has given to updating the station's efficiency. This fits with Entercom's overall view of promoting sustainability with an eye toward being green. For example, a few years ago, the station's incandescent tower lighting was replaced with LEDs. The incandescent lamps on the five towers consumed more power than the 5kW night-time transmitter output. This alone saved the station on its utility bills, which covered the initial capital expense in a short time. The added benefit of longer lamp life requiring fewer tower climbings to replace them also helps the bottom line.

So about 2.5 years ago, the idea of using solar power at a station was being considered. Entercom President and CEO David Field was interested in the concept and behind seeing if it could be done. KEZW was a candidate. The first items to consider were the location and of course the costs. Part of the cost discussion included various tax incentives that some areas offer.

All posts are connected to the system ground.

All posts are connected to the system ground.

It took a year to go through all the paperwork of pulling permits, applying for the financial incentives and submitting environmental filings. Entercom says Douglas County, the county where KEZW's transmitter is located, was positive about the project. Everything looked good on paper.

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