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Amsterdam ArenA roof to be fitted with solar panels

The Amsterdam ArenA – the largest football stadium in The Netherlands – will soon begin installing a solar panel roof covering an area of some 7,000 sqm. This will involve the installation of an estimated total of 4,200 solar panels. The system will allow the ArenA to generate an annual total of approximately 930,000 kWh of electricity, about 10% of current consumption.

The photovoltaic array lands the ArenA right up there among the top three ‘solar stadiums’. Only the Stade de Suisse in Bern and the Bentegodi Stadium in Verona generate more solar power. In the Netherlands, the ArenA will soon have the second largest photovoltaic array on a rooftop, just behind the new Hitachi distribution centre.

Nuon, BAM and Arcadis – Green Deal partners of the stadium – will install the solar panels in conjunction with Oskomera, who will supply and mount the photovoltaic panels. The solar panels will be installed on the non-translucent, non-moving parts of the stadium roof, mounted as a strip along the entire circumference above the rain gutter. Henk Markerink, CEO of the Amsterdam ArenA, said:

At an earlier stage, the Amsterdam ArenA had already decided in favour of sustainable district heating and cooling. Recently, a contract was signed for Dutch wind power, linked to the Oudendijk wind farm through Nuon. The installation of the solar panels is an important and logical next step towards the realisation of a net climate neutral stadium by 2015. The installation is planned for the first half of 2014.

The panels will prevent the emission of 430 tons of C02 – the equivalent of the annual emissions of 180 cars. Earlier plans of the ArenA to invest in solar panels had been shelved as it would have been hard to recoup the investment of 1.6 million euros within a reasonable period of time. October of 2013, however, saw the launch of the Amsterdam Climate and Energy Fund, an initiative of the City of Amsterdam funded by part of the proceeds from the sale of shares in Nuon. The fund provides (subordinated) loans, warranties and/or share capital, and ensures that the ArenA can install and operate the rooftop solar power system in a cost-effective manner.

The installation of the rooftop solar system is an element of the ‘Amsterdam ArenA.Naturally sustainable’ programme, which aims to ensure that the ArenA becomes net carbon neutral by 2015. Within the context of the energy partnership with Nuon, it was a logical next step for the ArenA to install solar panels, following their decision in favour of district heating and cooling and Dutch wind power. The Amsterdam ArenA runs the sustainability programme in conjunction with a total of close to forty Green Deal partners who are willing to invest time, expertise, services and funds into the greenification of the ArenA. They will help the Amsterdam ArenA to reduce CO2 emissions through smart transport, waste reduction, energy efficiency, clean energy and innovative sustainable solutions. The ArenA released their 2012-2013 sustainability report in December.