Smart energy management at stadiums

One of the topics of the SMART & Sustainability Workshop focused on smart energy management. Delegates learned more about the cases of Emirates Stadium and Amsterdam ArenA and their approach towards sustainability.

Operational Sustainability and Energy Efficiency

Michael Lloyd, Deputy Stadium Manager at Arsenal FC, focused on operational sustainability, energy efficiency and their approach in becoming a more sustainable club. 

Step one is to raise questions such as “What motivates a club to be more sustainable?” and “How to create a sustainable stadium?”. According to Lloyd the main focus points are related to efficient operations, being a leading sustainable club and because it’s the right thing to do. The financial benefits of a robust sustainability programme can make it easier to convince senior management to focus on sustainability. Not only to reduce energy costs on the long run but for the club’s image as well.

At Arsenal FC they have implemented several energy efficiency projects including:

  • Changing to LED floodlights and lighting to reduce energy usage 
  • Lighting control e.g. to schedule post-match cleaning
  • Building management systems e.g. to reduce running time of heating and cooling
  • Metering and usage analysis to monitor energy usage and identify high energy users across the stadium
  • Insulation: installing additional lagging in plant rooms to reduce heat loss 

“The simplest and easiest way is to turn things off! In theory at least, in practice this isn’t always as simple. However, new technologies are making it easier and easier for us to reduce energy usage without much additional effort.”

Moreover, partnerships can be beneficial for a club’s sustainability approach. Examples at Arsenal FC are their partnership with Octopus, a 100% renewable energy provider, and Puma, the Arsenal FC kit supplier, as they are taking huge steps to become a more sustainable business as well.

 Learn more about Arsenal FC's sustainability approach


Amsterdam Innovation ArenA

Chief Innovation Officer at Amsterdam ArenA, Henk van Raan, shared insights on how they are turning the Amsterdam ArenA into a smart and sustainable stadium, ready for Euro 2020, with energy management as one of the key points.

A short overview of projects related to energy usage at Amsterdam ArenA:

  • Over 4,200 solar panels on the roof
  • Own windmill in Oudendijk, that delivers green energy
  • 10% of the energy derives from solar panels and the other 90% derives from their windmill
  • LED Philips lighting to save energy
  • Escalators that generate energy
  • Storage battery of 4 megawatt, built with 280 recycled Nissan Leaf batteries (still in progress)
  • Energy-efficient catering

 At Amsterdam ArenA, similar to the approach of Emirates Stadium, partnerships are an important aspect in the stadium’s sustainability approach. According to Henk van Raan, a stadium should leverage partnerships to create innovative solutions to sustainable stadium operations and management. For example the partnership between Nissan, Eaton, The Mobility House and Amsterdam ArenA for their battery storage centre.

Furthermore, Amsterdam ArenA’s vision is to produce more energy than the stadium needs. This energy surplus production can be transferred to the city grid. During the ‘into the future’ stadium tour, Henk van Raan showed participants around the soon-to-be operational battery storage centre with 280 recycled Nissan Leaf batteries. This development will allow to increase operational efficiency throughout the year and the possibility to supply energy to the surrounding community.


 Learn more about energy storage at Amsterdam ArenA

Energy Sourcing and Alternative Energy

Blaire Bartholomew, BASIS member and Group Energy Manager at Tulip Ltd., discussed the current landscape of the energy sector and the role of stadiums and venues. Furthermore, she highlighted how stadium designers and operators can leverage energy production, consumption, and storage to benefit stakeholders and the communities surrounding these venues. 

Key energy management takeaways:

  • It is a leverage to use and position partnerships in your sustainability approach
  • Don’t think too large. Try to change your stadium one step at a time, it’s a long-term process 
  • Analyse your energy usage and identify high energy users
  • Lots of stadiums are changing their lighting systems to LED to reduce energy
  • Convince senior management about the benefits of a sustainability approach

Go to our ESSMA Flickr account for more pictures.


 Access all presentations on the ESSMA Knowledge Platform

The ESSMA Knowledge Platform is only available for ESSMA members. If you have not received your login, contact communications@essma.eu.  

Posted on 03/05/2018 in: