Japan’s Ricoh Taps Wind, Solar Power to Fuel London Billboard

Ricoh Co., the Japanese office-equipment maker, said it erected the world’s first billboard fueled by wind and solar power.

The 12-by-3-meter (39-by-10-foot) sign is on the U.K.’s M4 motorway linking London to Heathrow Airport, said Tom Wagland, head of the environmental management group at Ricoh’s European unit. It’ll advertise Tokyo-based Ricoh’s products and follows the installation last year of a solar-powered board in New York’s Times Square, he said.

“The wind turbines are on top and the solar panels are mounted on the framework,” Wagland said in a phone interview. “If the sun’s out, the solar panels will be charging the battery so it can run at night” for up to 11 hours, he said.

The board will use the same power in a year as 1.4 typical U.K. homes, according to Ricoh. It was developed by the Japanese companies Ad Gear Ltd. and Zephyr Corp., it said. Wagland didn’t immediately have information on who supplied the wind turbines and solar panels.

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