Sustainability and the move to green energy has become a major focus for top corporations, businesses and communities. Surprisingly, sports venues are pioneers in the field as they look to drastically reduce their carbon footprint and preserve their green legacy. In June this year, Amsterdam unveiled the largest European energy storage system in the most unlikely of places.
The Johan Cruijff ArenA is one of the most popular sports venues in the Netherlands. Home to AFC Ajax football team, the arena welcomes over two million visitors every year for sports events, music concerts, dance events and business conferences. In June, the arena made history by becoming the largest European commercial energy storage facility using second-hand batteries from electric vehicles.
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Recycling Electric Vehicle Batteries
Equipped with one wind turbine and a whopping 4200 solar panels, the sustainable sports arena can store a total of three megawatts, which is enough energy to power an average sized mall for well over an hour. When the stadium’s own power needs are low or when the stadium in not in use, its power system can funnel the stored energy back into the grid, reducing the carbon footprint of the surrounding area.
The sustainable arena project is a result of a unique partnership between Nissan, Eaton and the Amsterdam Climate and Energy fund. The project is an innovative solution to two of the biggest issues facing first-world countries. Finding a functional use for second-hand electric vehicle batteries is a well-documented problem. So too is finding additional energy to power the high-tech stadiums of the future. The Johan Cruijff ArenA is the answer to both, creating an extended power cycle for the electric vehicle market, while drastically reducing the country’s carbon footprint, and offering all the amenities of a world-class stadium.
But, as revolutionary as the Amsterdam Arena may seem, it is certainly not the first major sports venue to go green. All around the world, top stadiums are getting revamped, upgraded and converted to low-carbon venues.
Green in Atlanta
The Mercedes-Benz stadium in Atlanta is famous for being the home of the Atlanta Falcons. However, it is also one of the most sustainable sports stadiums on the planet.
Equipped with over 4000 solar panels, all of the lighting and video boards use LED’s reducing the energy consumption by 29%. The venue also has a revolutionary storm water management system that can store over 2 million gallons of water onsite. The building also uses water efficient fixtures, which cuts water use by 47%.
California’s Golden 1 Centre
The Golden 1 Centre in California is the home of the Sacramento Kings basketball team, and is also one of the top high-performance buildings in the world. Using an urban-smart grid, the stadium generates 100% of its power needs exclusively through solar energy. In addition, water conservation measures have been put in place throughout the building, meaning the stadium uses 45% less water than what the state code requires. When the stadium was constructed in 2016, 99% of the waste construction materials were diverted away from landfills and recycled.
Qatar 2022 World Cup Stadiums
The most ambitious green energy sports project will come into effect in 2022. As the host of the 2022 Soccer World Cup, Qatar have pledged to make all 12 of their football stadiums zero-carbon emitting. Nine new and three existing stadiums will meet the criteria put down by FIFA to deliver a zero-carbon tournament. Known for their high temperatures, Qatar will be implementing state of the art climate control systems using solar power. While the outside temperatures may soar above 44 degrees centigrade, the temperatures inside will hover around 23 degrees even with the roof open.
It looks like the stadiums of the future are already here, and that a greater focus on going green is the way forward.