Stellar Energy, a large-scale solar energy project developer and systems integrator announced the completion of a 960 kilowatt (kW) solar project that will provide clean energy to James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment Inc. (LEI), the film industry’s most technologically advanced and innovative production company. The solar energy system consists of three large roof-mounted photovoltaic arrays and features 3,692 solar modules and three inverters, which produce enough electricity to power LEI’s sound stages and offices at Manhattan Beach Studios (MBS) Media Campus, a state-of-the-art production lot in Manhattan Beach, California owned by The Carlyle Group and property managed by Raleigh Studios.
LEI was determined to harness pure and clean solar energy to power their highly anticipated sequels to AVATAR, the highest grossing film of all time. Adding these solar energy systems to the studio’s rooftops was crucial to making the production of the next AVATAR films as energy efficient as possible. By using renewable solar energy installed on complex roof-tops at the studio campus, LEI reduced its carbon footprint and has become a highly visible example for other studios to follow. LEI, and its leadership by James Cameron and Jon Landau, has a history of supporting environmental causes and plans to donate a portion of the profits from the next two AVATAR movies to environmental and social initiatives that are at the heart of the AVATAR world.
“The AVATAR sequels are a great opportunity to show how we, as a production company, can make clean green solar energy as we go. Going into AVATAR 2 and 3, we are going to be able produce enough solar energy to handle the entire electrical demand for our computers and performance capture systems here at MBS Media Campus,” said James Cameron, Director of AVATAR. “We have to do this for the future, for our children, and as a moral responsibility to the planet.”
“Our actions have a repercussion on both the people around us and the world around us,” said Jon Landau, AVATAR Producer. “Now our audiences can enjoy the new AVATAR movies knowing they are made with sustainability in mind.”
The solar modules were installed on the studio’s state of the art sound-proof barrel-shaped roofs, which required a custom designed mounting system to follow the contours of the roof. This design provided maximum power output and minimized roof penetrations. To help retain the limited parking space available at the studio campus, the system’s inverters were installed on the buildings’ roofs. To add to the complexity of the construction process, Stellar Energy worked hand in hand with Raleigh Studios management, and each active sound stage’s production team to ensure that zero disruptions occurred during the filming of many leading television and movie shoots.
“Working to help James Cameron and Jon Landau to fulfill their vision of the AVATAR sequels being the first solar powered major film production was an extremely rewarding process,” said Matt Lugar, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Stellar Energy. “This solar project is an excellent example of how smart businesses are reaping the rewards of solar energy, and also illustrating how to be intelligent stewards of the planet at a point in our history when the global community desperately needs more leaders like them.”