The stadium of Dutch soccer giants AFC Ajax has become the site of the biggest commercial energy storage system in Europe, thanks to the introduction of a scheme to store electric vehicle batteries at the venue.
The Johan Cruijff Arena now houses a three-megawatt storage structure, as well as 4,200 recently installed solar panels, capable of powering 7,000 households for an hour. As well as powering electric vehicles, the energy amassed by the panels can also be retained as supplementary reserve in order to ensure that the venue is as environmentally sustainable as possible. When not in use, the stadium’s power system can be utilised by Amsterdam’s power grid.
The stadium's move towards sustainability was accelerated in 2016 when car manufacturer Nissan and American power management company Eaton agreed a deal with the Amsterdam Arena - ultimately owned by the government of Amsterdam - to provide back-up power to the stadium. The initiative comes as a result of a variety of partnerships between Ajax and environmentally concerned businesses. The Dutch club has agreements in place with Nissan, Eaton and the Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund.
Henk van Raan, director of innovation at the Johan Cruijff Arena, said: “Thanks to this energy storage system, the stadium will be able to use its own sustainable energy more intelligently and, as Amsterdam Energy Arena BV, it can trade in the batteries’ available storage capacity.
“The Arena is assured of a considerable amount of power, even during an outage. As a result, the stadium will contribute to a stable Dutch energy grid. The Johan Cruijff Arena is one of the most sustainable stadiums in the world and leads the way in introducing smart innovations like this unique energy storage system.”