The First Eco-Friendly Billboard

Times Square, an iconic place known for its lights, signs and crowds, is now becoming a little more eco-friendly. According to an article in the New York Times, the first eco-friendly billboard will be placed 55 feet off the ground at northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 42nd Street. The $3 million sign, powered entirely by solar and wind energy, will go dark in when there is no sun or wind after a few days since it does not have a backup generator.

But that's not stopping it.

The 126 feet wide and 47 feet high sign, powered by 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels, will begin to be constructed this month, just in time for a lighting ceremony on December 4th.

Ricoh Americas Corporation, the equipment and document storage supplier that owns the sign, says that the sign could save as much as $12,000 to $15,000 per month by generating its own electricity. Additionally, the sign would prevent 18 tons of carbon from being released into the air each year. The company said that the only other similar sign in the world is one it built in Osaka, Japan in 2003. That sign has 26 small propellers and 39 solar panels.

The sign will be fittingly colored green. This seems like a great idea, and I hope it inspires more companies to take similar steps. Can you imagine an eco-friendly Times Square that goes dark after a few days of clouds and rain. This reminds me of a video clip the New York Times did on a greener, dimmer skyline in New York City. Click here to see it!