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Amazon to use Moxion mobile BESS units to power TV and movie productions

Moxion Power’s MP-75/600 BESS. Image: BusinessWire.

Amazon Studios has begun swapping out diesel generators for mobile battery energy storage system (BESS) equipment at sets for its TV and film productions in the US.

The entertainment production arm of the global e-commerce giant said yesterday that it is using mobile BESS units produced by US-headquartered startup Moxion Power on the sets of a romantic comedy film and a police procedural drama series currently being filmed.

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Next year it will expand that to further Amazon Studio production sets. Amazon said that as well as being non-polluting and quieter to use than diesel generators, BESS units have several other technically superior characteristics.

They are easier to operate, and their use saves on fuel costs and refuelling and maintenance logistics. They also do not take time to warm up or cool down before and after use and are safe for indoor use, the company said.

Amazon is an investor in the power-as-a-service company, which raised US$10 million in a 2021 Series A funding round, and then US$100 million in a Series B that closed in September.

Other investors include Microsoft, sustainable infrastructure investor Energy Impact Partners and Sunbelt Rentals, an equipment and tools rental company that offers power management solutions in its range.

At the time reported the Series B’s closing, there was little to no detail on Moxion’s website of the company’s technical solutions and offerings.

That remains the case, but Moxion is known to be building its first manufacturing facility in California and targeting ramp up to 7GWh of annual production capacity from that and a second factory it wants to open by 2024.

According to figures quoted by Amazon in a press release and provided by Sustainable Production Alliance, a consortium of major visual entertainment companies, consumption of fossil fuels to power sets and transportation together account for around half of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the average movie production.

It’s an interesting parallel to the origin story of another California-headquartered battery storage company, SimpliPhi Power, which actually originated as a power solutions company to the TV and film industry and has since diversified to serve the residential, microgrid and small commercial BESS market with its own lithium iron phosphate (LFP) systems.

SimpliPhi was acquired last year by engine and portable generator company Briggs & Stratton.

Meanwhile, the mobile BESS provider landscape appears to be growing in the US and elsewhere. US battery cell and system manufacturing startup KORE Power recently launched its own mobile BESS subsidiary, called Nomad Transportable Power Systems, among others. It was formed through a joint venture (JV) with system integrator Northern Reliability, which KORE Power later acquired.

Meanwhile in Europe, Dutch company Greener Power Solutions has been making and renting out mobile units for some time, including powering music festivals, work to upgrade transmission and distribution lines and connecting them to wind farms for a utility which then took the stored power to sites where it was needed.

It is being joined in the European market for mobile BESS solutions by newcomers, like Northvolt, the Swedish lithium battery gigafactory startup.

Moxion BESS approved for California incentive scheme

Earlier this week, Moxion announced that its MP-75/600 BESS product has been approved for a California subsidy programme supporting the sales and use of zero emissions off-road equipment.

The 600kWh unit features a proprietary battery module design, along with what the company claimed is cutting-edge inverter tech.

The US$125 million state incentive programme is called Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project (CORE) offering point-of-sale cash rebates for purchases of low-emissions equipment.

Applicable industries might include construction sites, agricultural facilities, freight, marine and others, with what Moxion described as a “significant portion” of capital costs for equipment covered by it.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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