Sports and Music Stadium Switches on to the Benefits of Energy Storage | John Robb, Commercial Buildings Segment Leader, Eaton

Flagship football and music venue Amsterdam ArenA is aiming to become the first stadium in the world to eliminate the use of fossil fuels – and the deployment of a pioneering energy storage solution will be crucial in its progress towards that sustainability goal, as well as increasing the efficiency and reliability of its power management across a busy schedule of events.

Robb, John

John Robb, Commercial Buildings Segment Leader at Eaton | Source: Eaton

Many will recognise Amsterdam ArenA as the iconic home of Ajax Football Club and as a venue for concerts by superstars such as U2, Beyonce and The Rolling Stones. However, few may be aware that the 54,000 seater stadium, which hosts around two million visitors each year, is also renowned worldwide as a champion of sustainability, with a goal of becoming completely fossil-free.

Managers of stadiums around the world look to Amsterdam ArenA as a beacon of best practice in environmentally-conscious innovation. As a result, many initiatives that are pioneered in Amsterdam’s flagship stadium are echoed in other venues over subsequent years.

It is hoped that the arena’s latest initiative will follow a similar path, as Amsterdam ArenA is to house a major energy storage system that will make its power supply more efficient, sustainable and reliable.

Power play

Work to implement the xStorage Buildings system at the arena is now under way, following the announcement of a 10-year deal with the makers of the system, power management company Eaton and automotive giant Nissan, along with technology specialist The Mobility House.

The system, which uses repurposed lithium-ion batteries from the Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, efficiently stores and distributes energy where it is needed. It will offer four megawatts of power and a storage capacity of four megawatt hours.

CO2 emissions will be reduced because the system enables the arena to maximise its use of renewable energy resources, including 4,200 solar panels on its roof and an associated windfarm and beyond by providing CO2 free grid services.

However, the drive towards fossil-free status is only one reason why the arena has chosen to implement energy storage. Due to major variances in the power requirements of different events, coupled with the need to ensure a seamless experience for fans and further UEFA 2020 requirements, the arena was seeking a better power management solution that would increase responsiveness to ensure an uninterrupted supply without adding additional costs.

The xStorage Buildings system stores energy from the grid during low-demand periods and supplies sustainable power when there is an outage. This will provide a crucial back-up to ensure the arena is resilient to any grid instability that might occur, reducing the need to deploy diesel generators as a temporary power source. To maximise efficiency, the arena will also be able to avoid peak tariffs during periods of high demand, an approach known as peak shaving.

The xStorage system stores energy during low-demand periods and supplies sustainable power when and where it is needed

The xStorage system stores energy during low-demand periods and supplies sustainable power when and where it is needed. | Source: Eaton

An additional advantage and revenue stream of the system is that, in between major events, the energy that is stored can be directed into services that help to stabilise the grid. As a result, the benefits of energy storage will be felt not only by the arena itself but by neighbouring buildings that are supporting and participating in the development of a smart city hub.

The architecture of energy storage

The multiple benefits of energy storage are creating a growing appetite for solutions at all points on the energy supply spectrum. Eaton and its partners have developed leading-edge solutions suitable for homes (xStorage Home), commercial buildings of all sizes (xStorage Buildings) and even grid-level clients (xStorage Grid scale).

The xStorage Buildings system has been designed by Eaton in partnership with Nissan, combining the expertise of both companies to deliver a seamless solution.

Eaton, a global power management company, provides energy-efficient solutions that help customers effectively manage electrical power safely and sustainably. The company’s decades of expertise in this field has been crucial in developing an energy storage solution that is workable in buildings. As the manufacturer of the world’s best-selling all-electric vehicle, the Nissan LEAF, Nissan is at the forefront of automotive innovation and, as such, is one of the largest producers of lithium-ion batteries. With sustainability at the heart of its intelligent mobility strategy, Nissan has collaborated with Eaton on the repurposing of new and second-life batteries. The other collaborator, The Mobility House, specialises in technologies that enable electric vehicles and their batteries to be integrated into and commercialised to the energy market.

The xStorage Buildings system strengthens local grid stability at Amsterdam ArenA and its neighbourhood

The xStorage Buildings system strengthens local grid stability at Amsterdam ArenA and its neighbourhood. | Source: Eaton

The xStorage Buildings system can take multiple energy inputs from renewable sources such as solar and the grid, in combination with storage using Nissan Leaf lithium-ion batteries and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), to deliver clean, balanced power, on-demand.

xStorage selects the right power sources according to the load, the grid constraints, and the availability of renewable energy. This allows end users to optimise their use of power and to participate in programmes such as demand response and selling energy back to the grid.

The system to be installed at Amsterdam ArenA is comprised of approximately 280 certified second-life Nissan LEAF batteries, consisting of 1160 battery packs. These are housed in 119 racks and integrated with nine bidirectional inverters from Eaton.

Henk Markerink, CEO of the Amsterdam ArenA, said: “We’re talking about a huge advantage in sustainability. Soon we will be able to store generated energy from our solar panels and windmills and put it to use when we need it. A great innovation – in the future, the Amsterdam ArenA will be the first stadium in the world that won’t be using fossil fuels anymore.”

Frank Campbell, President, Eaton EMEA, Electrical and Corporate, said: “The xStorage Buildings system that will be installed at the Amsterdam ArenA is one example of our wide portfolio of energy storage systems that enable all actors in the energy chain, from the end users to businesses and grid operators, to benefit from energy storage; in a way that is safe, reliable and sustainable. Additionally, the xStorage Home, our residential energy storage unit helps consumers control how and when to use energy in their homes and will empower them to contribute to local and national grid stability – another demonstration of our wide energy storage offering.”

Thomas Raffeiner, CEO and Founder, The Mobility House said: “With our technology, we monetise the batteries and make the Amsterdam ArenA and its neighbourhood more efficient, sustainable and reliable.”

Together, Amsterdam ArenA, Eaton, Nissan and The Mobility House are leading the way, implementing safe, reliable and sustainable solutions to make stadiums and their neighbourhoods more energy-efficient.

A short film outlining the Amsterdam ArenA energy storage project can be viewed by visiting: » Link

For further information on Eaton’s wide-ranging energy storage solutions, visit:

John Robb,
Commercial Buildings Segment Leader,

Image Source: Eaton |


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