Ricoh to Build Times Square's First Solar and Wind-Powered Billboard

Ricoh to Build Times Square's First Solar and Wind-Powered Billboard

Times Square isn't exactly known as a haven of sustainability, but Ricoh Americas Corporation is trying to make the tourist mecca just a little bit greener with a $3 million solar and wind-powered billboard. The 35,000 pound sign will be placed 53 feet off the ground and will wrap around the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street.

As you may imagine, powering a massive billboard is no small feat — Ricoh's sign will be outfitted with 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels. While the renewable energy-powered billboard is a first for Times Square, it isn't just a publicity stunt. In addition to preventing the release of 18 tons of carbon yearly, the billboard will save Ricoh $12,000 to $15,000 each month.

During cloudy days with minimal wind, Ricoh's sign will go dark, as the billboard lacks a backup generator.

And since anyone passing by the sign will see 26 wind turbine blades spinning on the sign, Ricoh's billboard can also serve as a giant advertisement for renewables.

I normally cringe at the energy-sucking signs in Times Square, but Ricoh should be commended for designing what may be the only really tasteful ad in the area.

Photo Credit: Gigante Vaz Partners NYC