Lights, Camera, Action! Delivering Emergency Power Solutions


In the television production business, the lights must stay on. For this client, which charges a premium for studio space, delivering seamless power is critical. 

A major television studio complex in Los Angeles needed an emergency power supply overhaul. The historic complex, which houses eight separate studios, numerous sound stages, and hundreds of offices, was built over several decades. The studio’s emergency power system had grown alongside the rest of the facility, in fits and starts, leaving significant gaps in its capability to keep running in the event of a power shortage. 

In the television production business, the lights must stay on. For this client, which charges a premium for studio space, delivering seamless power is critical. 

The studio needed an entirely new turnkey system that could transparently take over power supply duties in the event the grid falls short. They trusted Emergency Power Controls to deliver.

Decades of experience

For close to four decades, EPC has been providing support to critically important facilities, like high rise buildings, hospitals, military bases, and data centers. The television studio knew of EPC’s reputation from their work with entertainment entities like Disneyland and SeaWorld, and saw the work they had done with organizations including NASA, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and other Fortune 500 companies. As a result, they were confident that EPC, known for our reliability and safety-first approach to electrical work, could handle their crucial studio overhaul.

“This is our wheelhouse,” said Pat Carolan, EPC’s founder and president. “We were bidding against some huge electrical contractors, but I showed them that the system I designed was their best option.”

So much power, so little space

The studio faced unique roadblocks, mainly due to the limited space available for power system upgrades. Bringing in a new emergency power supply system required a considerable footprint, and the ever-expanding studio had little free space left over.

The plan required strategic thinking and planning. But Pat wasn’t deterred. 

“I’ve been doing this since 1984,” he said. “There’s not much I haven’t seen.”

The overhaul would require a whole new setup of transformers, automatic transfer switches (ATS), uninterruptible power supply units (UPS), and more. Where the equipment would go remained the question. Pat got to work.

“We had to change the entire parking flow so the generator could be installed where the parking used to be,” Pat said. “We had to find space for the UPSs and transformers so we took over some large storage rooms.”

In the end, EPC installed a two-megawatt generator with eight ABB automatic transfer switches and four UPSs: one 1,000 kVA unit, three 500 kVA units, and one 300 kVA unit.

Along with the major pieces of equipment, EPC handled the design, installation, and testing of fresh conduit runs and auxiliary equipment necessary to meet the studio’s massive demand for power.

The moment of truth

It was only a matter of time before the system EPC designed would be tested. When the time came and the facility lost city power, the equipment EPC installed took over seamlessly. “The facility functioned at 100 percent capacity,” Pat said. 

Quite literally, the show went on.

The studio was impressed. “Now they call me and say ‘Pat, you’re our go-to guy.’” 

This is what the studio’s facilities manager had to say about working with EPC: “The depth of understanding that EPC developed through the initial stages of project development, their commitment to safety, and their willingness to accept accountability are impressive. The way they managed so many moving pieces while maintaining communication through the process blew us away. In addition, the skills and commitment of their technical team were beyond what we could have hoped for.” 

Preventative maintenance means the relationship continues to this day. 

“We’re in it for the long haul,” Pat said, who talks to their facilities manager about once a month.

“That’s the importance of this business,” he said. “It’s all about experience and reliability and dependability.” 

If we can handle a major television studio’s power needs, we can handle your building’s needs as well. Give EPC a call today to learn more about our capabilities.

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Give EPC a call at (800) 540-0707 to tell us about your needs, or send us an email. We look forward to working with you.