This year when the ball drops in Times Square it will be with greener alternatives. The 2-0-0-9 sign will be lit by people pedaling away on bikes.
“This is our way of involving consumers in the whole process of powering the 2009 lighting when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve,” said Kurt Iverson, spokesman for Duracell, a unit of Procter & Gamble Co and which supplied the batteries.
Visitors to Times Square can be a part of history if they choose to go to the “power lodge.” The lodge houses a row of bicycles with generators connected to a set of huge batteries.
So far 95 hours of pedal power has been collected. That’s only 35 percent of the power that is needed. The goal of 230 hours of people power should be all that is needed to power the lights signaling the new year at the stroke of midnight December 31, 2008.
“We estimate our goal is to get 230 hours of people doing the cycle over the course of December and then we will have enough charge in the batteries for at least 10 to 15 minutes during the live telecast,” said Iverson.