Film London launches energy initiative

The Grid Project aims to reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution

By Nia Daniels 24 Mar 2022

Film London launches energy initiative

Film London has launched The Grid Project, a new scheme supplying renewable energy to productions filming in the capital. 

The pilot scheme will reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution; construction work is now underway to supply green energy via the mains network with the installation of an electrical feeder pillar at the hub, Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets (pictured below). 

 When filming on location, productions currently plug into diesel or petrol generators at unit bases for energy supply. Detailed analysis completed by ARUP for Victoria Park estimated that during 2018, production generators consumed 64,082 litres of diesel and 1,656 litres of petrol. The estimated CO2 emitted by the generators was 169,556kg.

The installation of electrical feeder pillars that productions can plug into instead would reduce CO2 emissions by 100% and PM (Particulate Matter) and NO2 (Nitrogen Dioxide) emissions to zero from film and TV productions at point of use, as well as significantly reducing noise pollution. The cabinets will also be available for use during events, reducing diesel generator usage from other industries. 

The pilot scheme has received heavyweight support from a range of sectors, including film, environment and policy, with funding from the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund supported through the London Economic Action Partnership; NBCUniversal; Interreg Europe’s Green Screen and the British Film Commission all key to the project’s fruition.

The Victoria Park pilot will be co-delivered with Tower Hamlets Council and The Film Office, appointed engineering consultant ARUP, UKPN, appointed contractor Ingenious Power and bespoke power distribution pillar specialist Lucy Zodion. 100% renewable energy will be supplied by SSE (Scottish Southern Energy).

Adrian Wootton OBE, chief executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said:  “With demand for content higher than ever and the sheer popularity of London as a filming destination, our industry faces a growing imperative to be more sustainable. Innovations such as the Grid Project will reduce emissions and noise pollution whilst continuing to make world-class content on location. 

“Film London is extremely proud to be leading this project, and I hope its development inspires other councils and unit base sites across London and beyond to follow suit. It is vital that across the board, we continue to highlight environmental challenges, exchange learning, and work together toward supporting infrastructure changes and solutions. I would like to thank all partners involved, whose pro-active support has been invaluable.”

Deputy mayor for Environment and Energy, Shirley Rodrigues, added: “Whilst the Mayor of London has made huge strides in cleaning up the capital’s toxic air, there is still more to do. It’s vital we tackle air pollution from all sources. The Grid Project, supported by the Mayor’s Good Growth Fund, will pilot electricity from 100 per cent renewable sources at some of London’s key film locations, eliminating the use of toxic diesel generators and helping to tackle climate change and reduce pollution exposure for the parks’ visitors. We are delighted to be enabling such an innovative and important project.”

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