architecture energy

Building of the week: Amsterdam Arena

While the world is paying attention to stadiums and events that occur within stadiums right now, here’s one that’s making strides on the sustainability front. This week Amsterdam Arena, home to Ajax football club, switched on a major battery storage facility. It uses retired EV batteries from the Nissan Leaf, and replaces diesel power generators used for backup.

It’s the first stadium to have such a facility, and the largest second-life battery storage plant in Europe. The general idea is that the stadium will be able to bank power when demand is low, or when supply from renewable energy is high – including from the 4,200 solar panels on the stadium itself and its dedicated wind farm. It can then draw on that power when needed, such as evening events. It will reduce the load on the local grid, while cutting carbon emissions. There’s a financial benefit as well, because if it doesn’t need it, the stadium will be able to sell power on at peak times.

Other sustainability features at Amsterdam Arena include rainwater harvesting to irrigate the pitch, and a water-based cooling system that draws from a nearby lake. Residual heat is stored to keep frost of the pitch, and LEDs are used throughout. The escalators capture the potential energy of people riding down to offset the energy needed to carry people up. Already climate neutral, the stadium ultimately hopes to create more energy than it uses, and it is one of the five most sustainable sports venues in the world.

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