14.6 C
Byron Shire
May 7, 2021

Richmond Valley Radio broadcasting with sun power

Latest News

Respect for Country

Léandra Martiniello, Whian Whian It is the night of the full moon, I have just watched it rise. On the...

Other News

No air for Ben

Rhonda Ansiewicz, Federal Stop giving Franklin air time. Mayor Richardson, in his usual fashion, joins up with his mate Franklin...

Transforming lives, empowering individuals and uniting communities

A Sound Life, Australia’s first charity to transform the lives of people in need through free music, yoga and meditation programs is having an event this Sunday as a fundraiser for the COVID crisis in India.

Cartoon of the week – 5 May, 2021

Letters to the editor We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters...

The top non-invasive skin treatments for glowing skin

With all the time we spend in the sun, our skin can start to show signs of aging sooner than we’d like. But the idea of an invasive treatment to fix skin problems is likely not the first choice for many people.

Interview with Madeleine West

Madeleine West is a nationally acclaimed actress who is one of the many talents who lives in our region. Not just a soap star (some might know her as Dee Bliss from Neighbours), Madeleine has an extensive performance training background and she’s going to be sharing her Theatresports expertise with kids at the Byron Comedy Fest.

Thanks for Bob

Jo Faith, Newtown I wish to thank The Echo for printing the article by Bob Morgan, First Nations academic. This...

88.9FM volunteer Roger Wood and the solar array on Mount Moonimba. Photo supplied.

Richmond Valley Radio, 88.9FM, is a community radio station serving the Northern Rivers region and they have exciting news.

In an amazing community achievement they are one of the first radio stations in Australia to broadcast totally off-grid.

The station has built and commissioned a 15kVA 48 panel off-grid solar system at their broadcast transmission site on Mount Moonimba which is 100% powered by the sun.

The solar array 10 kilometres southwest of the studio at Woodburn was unveiled at a recent open day where stakeholders got the chance to see the project up close.

Everyone was thrilled to be at the recent open day when the solar array was unveiled. Photo supplied.

In a collaborative venture, the owners of the land, Noel and Kerry Newman, the Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF), the NSW Community Building Partnership Program (CBPP) and 88.9FM’s members and sponsors, saw their dream turn into a reality when the transmission facility disconnected from the grid on December the 10 last year.

Station volunteer Roger Wood says the panels produce sufficient power to run our transmitter, computers, air-conditioners and fully charge the batteries for overnight use.

Setting up solar on Mount Moonimba. Photo supplied.

‘We have enough battery storage unless it’s very hot overnight. Then the system switches to the standby generator if that is the case. Since December the 10th that scenario occurred two days in a row.’

The cost of the project was $81,000 with CBF funding almost half with $40K; The NSW CBPP donating $9K; and the 88.9FM community donating $14K in cash and $18K in kind.

Roger says broadcasting off-the-grid feels fantastic. ‘We want to help save the planet from the fossil fuel fools.’

Cr. Jeff Johnson – Premium Solar Solutions principal, Meg Neilsen – Casino Environmental Centre, and Roger Wood 88.9 FM volunteer

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Well done to Richmond Valley Radio. It was great being involve of with this amazing project. It wouldn’t have happened without the tenacious efforts of Roger Wood who is a champion for community radio and the environment.

    We love designing/installing off-grid systems and bringing solar power to remote locations.

    Jeff Johnson
    Premium Solar Solutions

  2. As a very new volunteer at 88.9, I attended the official ‘unveiling’ of the new solar array.

    I was totally impressed at the results I saw, from the dedication and hard work that obviously went into this huge project … and that the station is now powered completely off grid.

    Great for our environment and the whole community, and a fantastic example of what can be achieved.

    Well done Roger and crew.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Government fails to support dying with dignity in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

From go to whoa – Norco Primex expo covers it all

Norco and Primex are bringing a three-day sustainable farming and primary industry expo to you.

Greater Sydney under COVID related restrictions

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that greater Sydney area will go into lockdown until next Monday.

Board defends its management of Mullum Rural Co-op

The issue of potential fraud and financial mismanagement was a key part of the response from Mullumbimby Rural Co-op board, and Chair Ross Tucker,...