Press Release: The GRID Project with The Film Office
When filming on location, productions establish an off street unit base that requires generators to supply electricity. These generators often use either diesel or petrol, producing harmful pollutants which contribute to poor air quality, and increased noise levels.
The Grid Project is a scheme that seeks to change this situation at source, setting out to supply green energy via the mains network to key unit bases in London. Installing electrical cabinets that productions can plug into rather than using generators can reduce the environmental impact of filming by drastically reducing harmful emissions, noise pollution and fuel costs. The cabinet will also be available for use during events, reducing generator usage in other industries.
The Lido Car Park at Victoria Park is one of the most popular unit bases in the capital supporting filming across Tower Hamlets and surrounding areas. 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. It was chosen as the pilot site in 2018 and has now been installed with an electrical cabinet.
The installation of electrical feeder pillars that productions can plug into have reduced CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) 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 national grid is generally run by about 30-40% renewable energy and at the minute is the cleanest source of power, however the cabinet at Victoria Park is being supplied by 100% clean energy from Ecotricity.
The Victoria Park pilot was co-delivered with The Film Office and Tower Hamlets Council, appointed engineering consultant ARUP, UKPN, appointed contractor Ingenious Power and bespoke power distribution pillar specialist Lucy Zodion and we are delighted to say the project is now up and running with the first productions using the box early in 2023!
The Film Office were proud to partner and support this innovative pilot at Victoria Park. Industry heavyweights across film, environment and policy also pledged their support of the pilot, with funding coming 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 which have been crucial in the project’s fruition.
At the official launch in June 2023, attendees included Rob Huber, MD UK & Ireland, Universal Pictures International; Shirley Rodrigues, London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, and Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive, Film London.
In the first 40 days of operation with 7 productions using the site, over 2,500 litres of diesel was saved, with a 100% reduction in both CO2 and NO2 particulates.
Dominic Reeve-Tucker, Managing Director of The Film Office, said:
“We are proud to co-deliver this project demonstrating our commitment in helping our industry reduce the environmental impact of filming in both Tower Hamlets and London. This green energy supply in the iconic Victoria Park will support more sustainable production and creative activity in the area by improving air quality and achieving significant reductions in emissions and noise for the benefit of all parties. A huge thank you for all the hard work and efforts by all involved in helping to transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future.”
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said:
“I am thrilled to launch the Grid Project today in Victoria Park. This is a never before done and innovative project in the UK, which we hope creates a template for future developments. We are fully committed to making our screen industries as sustainable as possible, and initiatives like the Grid Project are a brilliant way of guaranteeing lower levels of emissions and noise pollution. We are very proud to have led on the project, and I hope that the initiative can encourage new projects to enact similar sustainable solutions throughout London and the UK. Working together to address environmental challenges is crucial, and I would like to thank all our partners at NBCUniversal, the GLA and Interreg Europe who have been so valuable in supporting the launch of the project.’’
Shirley Rodrigues, Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy, said:
“The Grid Project is an innovative new pilot that will help reduce air and noise pollution in a new way, ensuring the film industry has access to green, sustainable energy and reducing the carbon footprint left by productions. It will make a big difference to people visiting Victoria Park, and will help pave the way for other projects to follow suit. I’m delighted to support Film London in leading the way on greening Britain’s film industry.”
Rob Huber, MD UK & Ireland, Universal Pictures International, said:
“NBCUniversal’s film and TV productions work to reduce our environmental impact globally by integrating sustainable best practices working with our local partners. We’re grateful to Film London and our co-sponsors for spearheading the Grid Project and look forward to watching its positive impact across London.”
Anne Rocheteau, Finance Officer for European Projects / Brume Delaunay, Policy Officer, Interreg Europe Joint Secretariat:
“We are delighted to witness the Grid Project official launch in Victoria Park. This pilot action contributes to leading the path to a greener audio-visual industry. It has been inspired by the knowledge of eight European partners and made possible with the support of the European Union via the Interreg Europe project, Green Screen. It is an excellent example of how interregional exchanges can contribute to decarbonising our continent. We hope that project results will inspire policymakers and audio-visual industry stakeholders from all around Europe.”
Andy Harries, Chief Executive and co-founder of Left Bank Pictures, said:
“This is a terrific development and another small but significant step towards ensuring the television and film business is as green as possible and climate focussed.”
Lutfur Rahman, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, said:
“As a designated Air Quality Management Area (AQMA), this project expresses our commitment to improving the quality of air for residents and visitors through the installation of renewable energy technology. I am pleased that our award-winning Victoria Park is piloting the project which will reduce the carbon emissions of filming.”
Paul Sands, Chief Growth Officer, Ecotricity:
“We’re delighted to be supplying this creative project with beautiful deep green energy. It’s great to know it will not only be making filming on location greener, but the project will also contribute to Ecotricity building a more renewable generation in the future too. We hope this inspires a lot more green innovation across the film industry.”
Josh Yudkin, Location Manager, said:
“The feeder pillar is such a great idea. Very simple to use, very good value for money and the best thing about it is its great for the environment. Very satisfied customer.”
For more information please follow the link here for the press announcement from Film London.
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