New Times Square Billboard to Be Powered by Wind and Sun

by Bill Chameides | February 5th, 2009
posted by Erica Rowell (Editor)

Permalink | 2 comments

Is Ricoh’s new solar-and wind-powered sign a wave of the future or a flash in the pan?

Is the new sign in Times Square an advertising gimmick or a crystal ball?

The Japanese printing and copier company Ricoh is showing that Madison Avenue doesn’t just have to think or buy green – it can be green. Part ad, part mini-power plant, Ricoh’s new billboard will be completely powered by renewable energy. Nested at the corner of 42nd Street and 7th Avenue, the 126-foot-tall sign will be flanked by 16 wind turbines, eight to a side, and topped with 64 solar panels.

Ricoh estimates that by not tapping any power from the grid, its eco-board — the first of its kind in New York’s advertising mecca — will prevent some 18 tons of heat-trapping carbon-dioxide emissions from escaping into the atmosphere each year (compared to traditional billboards).

Perhaps most important, the sign, which is scheduled to begin operation this month. shows people and other companies what can be done with today’s technologies. Just think if all of Times Square’s signs went green….

More Pictures Soon

Check back for updates — we will be adding photos to this page as the billboard is completed over the month of February. Ricoh is behind schedule for getting the sign online, but reports that the wind turbines will be installed within the next week or so, and it will be up and running shortly thereafter.

Update Feb. 9-10, 2009:

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  1. Jim Mckirdy
    Feb 20, 2009

    After looking at the sign I can see on top solar panels. It is covered by the shade of a builing. It is a poor example for showing the power of solar electric systems. It would have been a better example of solar electric if the solar panels were tracking the sun away from shadows caused by other buildings. New York compaired to LA is a lot cleaner air. Both cities have sub ways. But NYC actually is a more traveled form of transportation. Most residents of NYC do not own cars. In LA almost all residents own cars.

    • Bill Chameides
      Feb 20, 2009

      Dr. Chameides responds – Jim, Come on, give the Big Apple folks a break – it’s the first solar-powered billboard in Times Square. How about a B+ for being the first?

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