Film London has launched the UK’s first renewable energy supplier The Grid Project for film and TV productions to use when shooting in London.
Currently a pilot scheme, The Grid Project will allow productions to access green energy via an electrical feeder pillar located at a key unit base in London’s Victoria Park. Use of the pillars will reduce CO2 and air pollution (from particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide) by 100% as well as significantly reducing noise pollution.
The project has already soft-launched, with seven productions and one event using the unit base over the course of 60 days. As a result, 11,000-kilowatt hours were drawn – saving over 2,800 litres of diesel and 7.6 tonnes of CO2.
Using the data gathered from the pilot scheme, the hope is to roll out the renewable energy bases across London and eventually the UK.
NBCUniversal is among the sponsors of the project with funding also coming from the British Film Commission; the London Mayor’s Good Growth; and support from the EU via Interreg Europe under the European Regional Development Fund.
Speaking to Screen at the launch, Film London CEO Adrian Wootton called the green energy unit base a “tangible and concrete example” of sustainability in TV and film. “It’s not a pipedream. It’s a very practical real thing,” he continued. “It isn’t just talking about being green, it’s real. It’s actually saving real CO2 from burning into the atmosphere.”
Moving forward, Wootton hopes to “work with the industry to demonstrate that [the unit base] really does work, to promote it, and to encourage government - national and regional – as well as our private partners to help us find the resources so that hopefully we can get more of these out there.” Wootton also spoke of the potential to have unit bases at public electric vehicle charging points which are already being rolled across London.
Left Bank Pictures’ Andy Harries and Universal’s managing director for the UK and Ireland, Rob Huber also attended the launch.
The Grid Project is being co-delivered with Tower Hamlets Council and The Film Office, engineering consultant ARUP, UKPN, contractor Ingenious Power and power distribution pillar specialist Lucy Zodion. It follows the launch of The Fuel Project, a report providing practical information, steps and support to film and TV production suppliers moving towards more sustainable initiatives.