Hollywood Center Studios Goes Solar

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Mon, 06/13/2011 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Stages Five and Six at Hollywood Center Studios built in 1919 originally included clerestory windows so that film productions could be lit with natural light. Beginning in June the stages will again be lit at least partially by the energy of the sun through a new solar power system that will be one of the largest of its kind in Hollywood. Hollywood Center Studios has built two large solar power systems that will generate electricity for its 11 stages used to produce film television and commercial productions. Together the systems designed and built by Roseville California-based Solar Power Inc. are expected to generate more than 350 000-kilowatt hours per year. That will help reduce the studios’ electricity bill and further its goal to be a greener operation. “We hope to slow electrical consumption especially during peak hours and that could have a significant effect on our energy costs ” says Hollywood Center Studios executive vice president and COO Tim Mahoney. “Solar energy also appeals to the environmental concerns that we have—as well as many of the production companies that use our stages.” More than 700 solar panels have been installed on the roofs covering Stages 10 and 11 the facility’s newest stages and some 384 modules have been installed on the roofs of Stages Five and Six the facility’s original stages. Design and construction of the system took more than a year. Hollywood Center Studios has plans to add similar systems to other stages and buildings. “The rebate program has been a critical factor for many companies considering solar power ” says Jeff Pontius executive vice president of Solar Power Inc. “It would be unfortunate if that program were discontinued as solar energy benefits both companies and the environment.” Hollywood Center Studios has been actively pursuing a number of initiatives to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner. It has an ongoing program to replace the thousands of incandescent light bulbs on the lot with low-power LED units. It also operates a recycling program that salvages tons of material that would be otherwise thrown away—everything from soda cans to large television sets. Henry Rosales Hollywood Center Studios’ electrical foreman who oversaw much of the project said that the studios’ effort to go solar has received a warm welcome. “The feedback from our staff and our clients has been 100 percent positive ” he says. “They are impressed that a 92-year-old studio can do something so progressive.” Hollywood Center Studios www.hollywoodcenter.com