The storage system, developed by UK-based Pivot Power, can store enough electricity to run the 60,000 seater Emirates stadium for an entire match. It’s the equivalent of powering 2,700 homes for two hours, more than enough time to watch the match at home. The project has been funded with investment from Downing LLP.
The installation maintains Arsenal as the leader in sustainability in sport following its commitment to green energy with Octopus Energy in 2016. The BSS will allow Arsenal to avoid peak power prices, buying electricity when it is cheap and storing it for use when prices are high. Typically, energy can cost three times more at peak times than overnight.
The 3MW/3.7MWh BSS, one of the largest at any sports ground in the world and the first at a UK football club, will bring Arsenal immediate benefits, cutting electricity bills, and earning money by supporting a low-carbon grid. A further 1MW/1.2MWh of storage to be added in summer 2019.
Arsenal Managing Director Vinai Venkatesham said: “This is a big step forwards for us in being efficient with energy usage and it builds on our work in reducing our carbon footprint as an organisation. We have been powered by green energy since 2016 thanks to Octopus Energy, and the battery storage system will support our efforts further.”
It will also enable Arsenal to make money by using the BSS to provide a range of services that will support the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy, providing flexible capacity that will help the electricity network accommodate more renewable generation and support the growth of clean technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps. The BSS will be automatically traded and optimised by Open Energi in response to market signals and has already secured a frequency response (FFR) contract from National Grid.
Pivot Power CEO Matt Allen said: “Arsenal is showing how football clubs and other big power users can save money and support the UK’s climate change and clean air targets. Batteries are central to creating a cost-effective, low-carbon economy and we are keen to help government, local authorities and businesses seize the opportunities they offer.”
Pivot Power has installed the BSS and will operate it for 15 years. The battery will generate income by providing services to National Grid to help it balance supply and demand, which will be shared between Pivot Power, Downing LLP and Arsenal.
Pivot Power is also developing a nationwide network of 50MW grid-scale batteries and rapid electric vehicle charging SuperHubs, with financial backing from Downing LLP. It has received planning permission to install batteries on the first three of 45 planned sites connected to National Grid’s extra-high voltage transmission system: at Southampton, Carlisle and Norwich.
The BSS is a further step in Arsenal’s sustainability programme. It was the first Premier League club to switch to 100% green electricity, supplied by a network of solar farms and anaerobic digestion plants. Since signing a contract with Octopus Energy in 2016 and switching to green energy last year, the club has cut its carbon footprint by 7 million kilogrammes, equivalent to filling the Emirates Stadium more than 3.9 times.
Arsenal has installed LED floodlights which use 30% less electricity than conventional ones. Emirates Stadium recycles 80% of match day waste with all food waste sent to an anaerobic digestion plant where it is turned into energy to supply the club.
Arsenal, together with Octopus Energy, and Pivot Power now plan to go beyond cutting costs and carbon at the Emirates and are working on a joint project to increase global access to energy. They expect to announce details in the coming weeks.
Minister for Energy and Clean Growth Claire Perry, commented following the battery’s unveiling: “The UK is certainly not being left-back on the bench, with Arsenal truly moving the goal-posts when it comes to energy efficiency at Emirates Stadium. This project scores the hat-trick of tackling peak prices and storing clean energy, with the goal of selling back energy to the grid at peak times. A more flexible energy grid could save the UK billions and this kind of cutting-edge technology shows companies the potential of being part of the beautiful game of smarter energy systems.”
Mehal Shah, Investment Manager at Downing LLP, said: “This is a landmark deal which will make big companies and investors take notice. Battery storage is attracting growing interest from smart businesses, like Arsenal. We’re delighted to play our role in supporting both Pivot Power as developer, and Arsenal’s lead in accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy.”
Octopus Energy CEO Greg Jackson said: “Arsenal took a lead in sustainable energy by switching to Octopus in 2016 and we have worked together to make The Emirates ever greener. Arsenal is now the first top flight club with battery storage, allowing it to use cheap renewable energy even at peak times, and reduce the need for diesel back-up generators. Together, Octopus and Arsenal are showing the world that we can fight climate change whilst reducing energy bills. This is an investment in our planet’s future.”