A massive energy storage system that includes new and used electric vehicle (EV) batteries has just been switched on at Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena, the home of Dutch football club Ajax.
It is capable of storing 3 megawatts of power – enough to charge 500,000 iPhones or supply 7,000 households in Amsterdam for one hour – and its makers say it’s Europe’s largest commercial energy storage system using EV batteries.
The system combines power conversion units and the equivalent of 148 new and used Nissan LEAF batteries, which store energy captured by 4,200 solar panels on the roof of the stadium and also from the grid.
Keeping the lights on
Its main purpose is to deliver back-up power to the stadium in case of outages or during heavy use. But as well as providing a reliable source of sustainable energy, it will also relieve pressure on the Dutch electricity grid during concerts and other big energy-consuming events.
And during periods of low demand, the stadium can contribute power to the grid.
“The arena is assured of a considerable amount of power, even during an outage,” Henk van Raan, the Johan Cruijff Arena’s director of innovation, said in a statement. “As a result, the stadium will contribute to a stable Dutch energy grid.”
Second life for batteries
Carmakers are grappling with the problem of what to do with EV batteries when they pass their peak performance.
Lithium-ion batteries can continue to store electricity for years after they’re taken off the roads, and several carmakers including Nissan are working on projects to repurpose EV cells for home energy storage.
Nissan says that the new system at the stadium demonstrates that second-life batteries can play a role in “making the whole energy system more efficient and sustainable”.