A local film studio makes a trailblazing shift to renewable energy

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      Making big-budget movies takes money—but it also takes a lot of energy. And we’re not just talking about people power. 

      According to BC Hydro, the average blockbuster movie creates around 2,840 tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to driving a car some 12 million kilometres. The emissions are largely due to the diesel generators that are the norm for studios around the world—though not all studios. At least not anymore.

      Martini Film Studios, a 16-acre backlot setup in Langley, recently transitioned away from the four diesel generators it had been using to power its fleet of trailers, lighting, and a set dubbed Martini Town. It instead now uses film kiosks that are powered by BC Hydro, and is the first of 20 planned locations to see this shift.

      Electricity from BC Hydro is 98 per cent renewable energy; the majority comes from hydroelectric facilities, with support from wind, solar, and biomass. 

      “We are excited to help the industry transition to a more sustainable future, powered by clean electricity,” says Chris O’Riley, president and CEO of BC Hydro, in a statement. “Martini Film Studios is taking vital steps to reach net-zero, and we admire their commitment to our shared goals.”

      Martini Film Studios made the change away from diesel thanks to the $280,000 in funding from the BC Hydro’s Low Carbon Electrification Program. Its facilities were also designed around energy efficiency, incorporating motion-activated LED lighting, EV charging stations, zoned heating and cooling, insulated soundstages, water efficient fixtures, and waste diversion.

      The studio is also planning a major expansion with the goal of making operations carbon-zero.