Amazon is moving to reduce the use of fossil fuels on its film and television sets, replacing diesel fuel generators with cleaner energy batteries from climate technology startup Moxion Power.
Amazon Studios is among the first entertainment production companies in Hollywood to power its production sets with Moxion Power’s batteries, swapping out the higher-pollution, noisy generators commonly used in the entertainment industry. The move demonstrates another step in Amazon’s commitment to make operational changes to decarbonize its business and become net-zero carbon by 2040.
Amazon invested in Moxion Power’s technology earlier this year through its Climate Pledge Fund, the $2 billion corporate venture capital fund that invests in green technology companies to help Amazon lower its carbon footprint.
Amazon is reducing the use of fossil fuels of its movie sets by using batteries for power
The batteries are being used to power cameras, base camps, lighting, hair and makeup trailers, and other production equipment on the Amazon film and television sets of Sitting in Bars with Cake, a rom-com starring Yara Shahidi and Bette Midler, and the Amazon Freevee series Bosch: Legacy. Amazon expects to expand the use of Moxion Power’s batteries to more U.S.-based Amazon Studio production sets in 2023, including Candy Cane Lane, a holiday movie featuring Eddie Murphy.
Roughly half of the carbon emissions from the average movie come from the fuel used to power generators and transportation needs, according to the Sustainable Production Alliance.
The cleaner-energy batteries are providing power in place of diesel fuel generators
Unlike the traditional diesel-fuel generators that are typically used to power movie productions, Moxion Power’s batteries don’t emit fumes or air pollution, can be operated indoors, and are virtually silent. They require no energy-burning warm-up or cool-down times, and are easier to operate due to the diesel fuel cost savings. Beyond movie sets, the batteries are also capable of powering the energy needs of construction sites, charging electric vehicles , and providing power to disaster zones.
“Moxion Power’s batteries are allowing us to deliver entertainment with lower emissions than before, which we know is important to our customers, our Hollywood talent, and production teams, and is the right thing to do for the communities we operate in,” said Glenn Gainor, head of physical production for Amazon Original movies. “Our sets using the batteries have less air pollution, less noise, and are helping us demonstrate to others in the entertainment industry that small changes—like swapping diesel generators for batteries—can have an immediate and significant environmental impact.”
Illustration of Moxion batteries towed by a truck. The batteries reduce air pollution and noise, and are capable of recharging in a single night.
Collaborating with emerging climate tech companies like Moxion Power is an important action Amazon is taking to decarbonize its operations. Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund has invested in Moxion Power and 19 other companies, a strategy that is part of Amazon’s broader Climate Pledge commitment to meet net-zero carbon across its business by 2040—10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.
“There is no bigger voice in the world than Hollywood, and Amazons Studios’ commitment to this technology demonstrates that the entertainment industry is ready and willing to begin the transition to cleaner energy,” said Alex Meek, co-founder and president at Moxion Power. “Our batteries are cost-effectively powering Amazon Studios’ productions, while also helping the company meet its broader climate goals. We hope this partnership inspires others in the entertainment industry to consider adopting climate change technologies like ours.”
“In order to meet our commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040, we have to find more sustainable ways to run all parts of our company, and that includes our entertainment business,” said Kara Hurst, vice president of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon. “We’re proud to be investing in promising new climate technologies like Moxion Power’s through our Climate Pledge Fund, and using those technologies to decarbonize our business. Operational changes such as these are the kind of climate action that matters, and that enables our partners, customers, and associates to create a healthier world.”
Moxion Power’s batteries are supported by a swap service, which ensures consistent power during film operations. The swap service allows the batteries’ performance to be remotely managed and optimized to predict usage patterns and expected run times, which can last for days or even weeks. This allows the units to be swapped out when they are low on power. The technology also uses machine learning and AI to analyze and predict how much power a customer will need, and optimizes how the batteries perform in different operating conditions.
Using Moxion Power’s batteries is one of many ways that Amazon Studios is making its production sets more sustainable. The company recently began scaling a new set of sustainability policies for productions, which include using a minimum of 50% LED lighting, utilizing renewable fuels, and a goal of using 50% electric or hybrid vehicles where available. A growing number of productions are also scaling the use of solar-powered trailers for use by the cast and crew, composting food waste and using reusable water bottles on set, and encouraging the use of recyclable and donatable materials for production elements, including makeup and set construction.