Amsterdam ArenA, the circular economy scores a goal


Ajax football players aren’t the only stars of note. The Johann Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, the home stadium of one of the most famous teams in the history of the game, is now illuminated by an innovative system that combines 148 Nissan Leaf e-car batteries and 4,200 solar panels.  

Thanks also to the use of second-life batteries, the stadium presents a revolutionary example of the circular economy. It is also Europe’s largest commercial building energy storage system. The structure can draw energy from e-vehicles that fans and citizens can park for no charge in areas outside the stadium, recharging them before they leave. It uses a bi-directional power flow which helps smooth out peaks in demand on the grid. This is because the stadium only uses electricity when needed, thanks to a storage system that includes energy from solar panels.  

The project is the result of a collaboration between the Johann Cruijff ArenA with Nissan, Eaton, Barn and The Mobility House. The Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund (AKEF) and Interreg provided the support funds.

The stadium has a capacity of 3 MW/2.8 MWh and recycles batteries that still have 12 or 15 years of their service life left. Experts say that when batteries are disposed of they could still provide 70% of their potential output, if they are properly regenerated. The amount of energy stored could power 500,000 smartphones, or fulfil the energy demands of 7,000 dwellings for one hour.

All in all, it is a prodigy of technology and innovation. In Amsterdam clean energy and the circular economy have scored an exciting goal.