Nissan LEAF batteries to power up Amsterdam ArenA’s energy storage system

Nissan and power management company Eaton will implement one of Europe's largest commercial energy storage systems, after striking a deal to install a 3MW system of electric vehicle (EV) batteries at the car park of the Amsterdam ArenA stadium.

Eaton and Nissan will install the xStorage Building System in the football stadium’s car park, utilizing 280 Nissan LEAF batteries – in a combination of 85 new and 63 second-life EV battery packs. Expected to be completed in early 2018, the 3MW capacity system can be upscaled if needed and will store energy generated from the more than 4,000 solar panels installed on the stadium’s roof.

“For us, the battery functions as an emergency power supply,” Amsterdam ArenA’s innovation director Henk van Raan said. “This is important in international football and makes diesel generators redundant. In addition, we contribute to the balancing of the electricity grid – which is also the basis of the energy company’s earnings model.

“In the future, we want to play a central role in the local smart energy grid by, for example, supplying energy to other buildings in the area. The battery storage system plays a crucial role in this. We also want to be able to connect electric cars in the future. That’s why we placed the battery in the parking garage. The batteries of parked cars can then offer additional storage capacity and act as a flexible ‘overflow area’ for electricity.”

Amsterdam ArenA has set up a separate company to oversee the power supply initiative. The Amsterdam Energy Arena will oversee distribution and storage and was one of the first outlets from the stadium’s innovation programme with the city government and private partners.

Energy consumption at the 54,000-seater stadium surges during football matches and events. The xStorage system can deliver surplus renewable energy during these times, reducing reliance on the grid and diesel generators. Eaton claims that the 3MW capacity of the system is comparable to the energy needs of a “few thousand homes”.

This isn’t Eaton or Nissan’s first involvement in the footballing sphere. Eaton are the official energy partner of Manchester City Football Club, and are working with the club and Nissan to raise the profile of its domestic storage offer.


Nissan has been championing similar systems on its own facilities, including at its Cranfield research centre in the UK. The centre is fitted with Nissan’s innovative vehicle-to-grid (V2G) concept, which allows EV owners to sell energy stored in vehicles back to the grid.

Nissan’s director of energy services Francisco Carranza added: “We are proud of our participation in this global innovation. Nissan believes that to build a better, more sustainable world, we must all change the way we live, move and play. This solution will allow the stadium to be truly zero emissions, giving the opportunity to the fans to take an active role in their favorite football matches.”

Earlier this week, the carmaker revealed that a new Nissan LEAF had been upgraded to offer a longer range of 235 miles on a singles charge, and will go on sale in Europe from January 2018.

Matt Mace

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