Johan Cruijff ArenA switches on Europe’s largest energy storage system created from EV batteries


The Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam is setting the bar high for environmental and sustainable stadium practices after it officially opened its innovative energy storage system, which uses old electric vehicle batteries to provide energy to the stadium.

Home to Dutch soccer side AFC Ajax the 54,033-capacity venue has been working with car manufacturer Nissan to create Europe’s largest energy storage system from second-life and new batteries from Nissan Leaf vehicles.

“We are delighted to be part of Europe’s largest energy storage system developed for a commercial building. Thanks to the Johan Cruijff ArenA we can demonstrate today that re-purposing the batteries of Nissan electric vehicles can contribute to make the whole energy system more efficient and sustainable. We are putting our electric ecosystem at the heart of a sustainable future, transforming the way we drive and also transforming the way we live’ said Francisco Carranza, managing director of Nissan Energy.

The 3MW system, enough to power thousands of households, combines Eaton power conversion units and approximately 148 Leaf batteries to provide the arena with its own flexible energy supply for use within the facility, as well as being able to provide back-up power and reduce the use of diesel generators. Not only will this be able to reduce the strain on the national grid and flatten energy peak usage during events, the venue will also be able to sell spare capacity back to the Dutch energy grid.

Johan Cruijff Arena

Sustainability efforts

“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,” said Henk van Raan, director of innovation at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

“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.”

The Johan Cruijff Arena employs a number of eco initiatives including over 4,200 solar panels on the roof of the venue, recycled rainwater to irrigate the grass pitch, LED lighting and energy-generating escalators, as well as installing its own wind-powered turbine and charging points for electric vehicles.

July 4, 2018

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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