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INDEPENDENT LENS: Jonathan Scott's Power Trip

"Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott takes a break from installing solar panels on a rooftop.
Courtesy of Neil Berkeley
"Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott takes a break from installing solar panels on a rooftop.

Stream now or tune in Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

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Directorial Debut from Star Jonathan Scott Explores the State of Solar and the Forces Controlling the Energy Industry

PROPERTY BROTHERS co-host and home-renovation expert Jonathan Scott is on a mission to flip the switch on how Americans access power. On the surface, solar energy seems like a resource that is widely available, however as Scott begins his journey across the country, he quickly finds how little choice the public has in how they source their energy.

Scott’s directorial debut “Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip” premiered on INDEPENDENT LENS in November 2020.

In 2015, Scott decided to power his Las Vegas home with solar in an effort to reduce his carbon footprint and explore ways that solar energy could help clients in his home-renovation work.

His experiences revealed a system that seemed broken, and the process sparked a three-year journey of frustrating interactions with utility companies, government officials, and confusing legislation.

"Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott approaches the Nevada Solar One farm outside of Boulder City, Nev.
Courtesy of Neil Berkeley
"Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott approaches the Nevada Solar One farm outside of Boulder City, Nev.

Like Scott, many Americans have turned to solar in recent years to generate their own environmentally-friendly source of power and to cut costs.

"Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip" chronicles Scott’s quest to gain a deeper understanding of this issue, and raises important questions like where our energy comes from, who controls it, and how it is sourced. 

Sunrun lead installer shows a rooftop solar panel to "Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott in the Sunrun warehouse in Henderson, Nev.
Courtesy of Neil Berkeley
Sunrun lead installer shows a rooftop solar panel to "Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott in the Sunrun warehouse in Henderson, Nev.

Viewers accompany Scott as he travels the country, interviewing key figures across America’s energy landscape. Featuring interviews with a host of experts such as Bernie Sanders, Al Gore, Tea Party co-founder Debbie Dooley, environmentalists, farmers, coal miners, and solar panel installers, "Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip" highlights an issue that impacts everyone.

“I was shocked to find that there’s a silent war being waged against everyday people who are trying to have a say in where their power comes from,” Scott said. “It’s not about politics, it’s about the truth. My hope with this film is that it will challenge how we think about energy not only in the U.S., but on a global scale, and motivate people to call for meaningful changes to the way our power is sourced and controlled.”

"Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott inspects the wall of a former coal mine in Lynch, Ky.
Courtesy of Neil Berkeley
"Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott inspects the wall of a former coal mine in Lynch, Ky.

Lois Vossen, executive producer of INDEPENDENT LENS, added: “With curiosity, compassion and charisma, 'Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip' gets the juice on solar energy and examines the forces that keep our energy system tied to the fossil fuel industry — an issue that has dramatic economic, social, and environmental implications for people everywhere.”

"Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip" illuminates the obstacles and opportunities that exist in creating a system that gives the public widespread choice when it comes to sourcing energy.

"Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott (left) tours the Navajo Nation's Kayenta Solar Project in Kayenta, Ariz.
Courtesy of Neil Berkeley
"Power Trip" director Jonathan Scott (left) tours the Navajo Nation's Kayenta Solar Project in Kayenta, Ariz.

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Credits:

Produced by Scott Brothers Entertainment, in partnership with Future You Media, Director: Jonathan Scott. Co-Director: Edward Osei-Gyimah. Producers: Maggie Contreras, Neil Berkeley, and Edward Osei-Gyimah. Executive Producers: Adam McKay, Bart McDonough and Drew Scott. Editors: Marc Otto, Alan Hoang and James Long. Writers: Edward Osei-Gyimah and Jonathan Scott. Cinematography: Paul De Lumen, Brody Engelhard, Jay Visit and Chris Mariles. Music: Steve Hampton and John Adair.