New York's Times Square will get for the first time an eco-friendly electronic billboard, which will be powered by wind and sun. The 126 feet wide and 47 feet high billboard, owned by Ricoh Americas Corporation, will be 55 feet off the ground at 3 Times Square, wrapping around the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street. It weighs 35,000-pound and construction will begin this month.
Powered by 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels, the sign can generate enough electricity to light six homes for a year. It is expected to save as much as $12,000 to $15,000 per month in the form of electricity costs. Ricoh, an office equipment and document storage supplier, estimates the sign will also keep 18 tons of carbon out of the environment.
The billboard will be lit by floodlights rather than light-emitting diodes. It won't have a backup generator, so it could go dark during a long period with little wind or sun. But, the sign's turbines are expected to be able to keep the billboard lit even after four days without breezes or bright sun.
The lighting ceremony of the eco-friendly billboard is scheduled for December 4, 2008.