The days of using a generator to power nothing but a coffee machine are number- ed — at least in New York. Electrical power is a serious issue, especially on location. But the solution most production companies choose is often not the best: “Bring more power than you need”! The Long Island-based company Green Idle is changing up the game. They offer solar-powered food trucks that quietly generate clean energy. “Charge your food truck on a single sunny day and be ready for a weekend of full power no matter what the weather brings”, says Green Idle founder Neil Robbins, who began his career in his father’s company fifty years ago. Galaxie Coffee supplies coffee, machines, food and dining trucks, and craft services for the film industry in the Greater New York City Area.
In collaboration with certified PV Solar Installer Robert Drucker and environmental advocate Bobby Nystrom, Robbins developed several solar-powered food trucks which led to the launch of Green Idle. Thanks to its partnership with the US-based engineering company Lithionics Battery, Green Idle’s trucks are equipped with solar-power systems that capture and dependably store long-lasting power. Each solar panel produces 300 to 400 watts, depend- ing on the hours of available sunlight according to latitude, but the battery has 15,000 of watts storage capacity. “Lithionics Battery gives us the best, safest and most reliable power storage in the industry”, Robbins points out. The batteries we use are so advanced, Underwriters Laboratories created a new safety and reliability scale just to accommodate Lithionics’ capabilities.”
“Working with innovators like Green Idle on reducing productions’ carbon footprints is a perfect fit for our strategy at Earth Angel”, stresses Emellie O’Brien, CEO of the New York-based sustainability consultancy service company. “We know that if we truly want to become a carbon-neutral industry, we have to address the largest source of our carbon emissions — fuel consumption. We hope that more producers begin to favor companies with clean fleets when it comes to hiring a caterer or craft company."
Among the most recent shows that have used solar-powered catering trucks is the Amazon series Hunters, which stars Al Pacino as the leader of a band of Nazi hunters living in 1977 New York City. Filmed mostly on location in New York City over the course of 115 shooting days, catering and craft service had two food trucks that served about 30 actors, 150 crew members, and at times as many as 150 extras.Although the appliances in the food truck consume up to 12,000 watts, there is no need for gas or oil. In total, the solar trucks saved
the production 652 gallons of gasoline.
Green Idle has built or retrofitted dozens of solar-powered food trucks for catering and craft services. “During my fifteen year tenure, I noticed an exorbitant amount of wasteful procedures and this led me to explore greener alternatives in my field,” says Angela Dapice, Proprietor of the catering company Chefs on Fire, which used these solar-powered food trucks on the set of Apple TV’s period comedy-drama series Dickinson. “I love having Green Idle’s solar technology on my truck because there’s no smell or noise from the old generators, not to mention being able to leave food in the refrigerator and freezer overnight and weekends without worrying about a power source.”
Photos: @ Courtesy of Green Idle