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Odds Ballklubb transforms stadium into solar energy plant

Norwegian Eliteserien team Odds Ballklubb (Odd) has furthered its goal of becoming Europe’s greenest football club by completing a project that transforms its stadium into a solar energy plant.

The initiative is part of a joint venture between the Skien-based top division club and commercial partners Skagerak Energi and ABB. Norwegian energy company Skagerak holds naming rights to the 12,000-capacity Skagerak Arena.

Skagerak had sought to explore the role that new energy technology can play in society, while Swiss-Swedish automation firm ABB has contributed its tech to the project. As part of the Skagerak Energilab, the rooftop of the Skagerak Arena has been completely covered with 5,700 square metres of solar modules, which can produce up to 800 kilowatts of power.

The battery and the energy management systems seek to ensure maximum use of renewable power even when there is low light. Along with powering the floodlights at the stadium, the system is also providing the local neighbourhood with electricity. It is designed so that Skagerak and ABB can gain insights into how a ‘prosumer’ system, whereby consumers both consume and produce electricity, can operate under different conditions.

Einar Håndlykken, managing director of Odds Ballklubb, said: “It started with a wild idea. The roof lay there and I thought it must be able to be used for something. I hope it can inspire other football clubs, but the lessons will be useful for anyone with a big roof and those who will develop our energy systems.”

Knut Barland, CEO of Skagerak Energi, added: “The energy industry is developing in both production and distribution. Skagerak Energilab is important for gaining experience of how local power production can interact with established power grids.”

Image: ABB