For nearly three decades, Broadway Stages in Greenpoint has worked with every major Hollywood studio to turn out hit movies like "The Good Shepherd" and "Duplicity," and popular television shows such as "The Good Wife" and "Third Watch." Best-selling music artists from Jay-Z to Beyonce and Kings of Leon have also produced their music videos at the studio.
Perhaps even more impressive than what Broadway Stages produces is how it produces --- with solar powered facilities.
The studio is constructing one of the largest privately owned solar powered installations in New York State. In fact, this year it became the first solar powered full-service film and television sound stage facility in the world.
The studio's rooftop solar panels generate enough power to prevent the burning of 75,000 gallons of diesel fuel, cutting energy bills by more than $70,000 a year.
"The motion picture industry is such a large user of electricity for its sound stage shooting and diesel fuel for its location filming," said Tony Argento, owner of Broadway Stages. "The solar panel installation is our contribution to improve our neighborhood and help offset our carbon footprint."
In addition to the environmental benefits, advocates highlight solar power’s potential to create local work and jobs.
One such proponent is City Councilman Jim Gennaro, Chairman of the Council's Environmental Committee. Gennaro recently toured the studio to view its rooftops, commend its solar initiative and draw attention to his own.
"I applaud Broadway Stages for becoming the first solar powered sound stage in the world, in turn, creating 10 full-time jobs and more than 50 part-time jobs for New Yorkers," said Gennaro. "Their initiative is a shining example of renewable energy investment and its various benefits – including the creation of green-collar jobs and growth of the local green-economy."
Earlier this year Gennaro proposed legislation that would require certain city-owned buildings to install solar power systems, and make it easier and less costly for city residents and businesses interested in doing the same. The legislation is currently under consideration at the Council.