In Lyon, the Groupama Stadium moves towards energy self-sufficiency

In Lyon, the Groupama Stadium moves towards energy self-sufficiency

At the Groupama Stadium, in Lyon, in November 2017.

With four defeats in the first nine Ligue 1 games, Olympique Lyonnais (OL) is a poor student in the ranking of the French soccer championship. But there is one field where the club with seven consecutive titles between 2002 and 2008 is at the forefront: energetic sobriety.

Inaugurated on January 9, 2016, the Groupama Stadium is presented as a virtuous model of energy consumption. The OL stadium is the scene of regular improvements that reduce its carbon footprint. The leaders of the Rhône thus launched the Plus 20, minus 20 project in September: increase global electricity production by 20%, managing to reduce consumption by 20%.

As of 2019, the club’s leadership opted for photovoltaic panels that cover the car parks around the stadium to provide electricity. Today, these panels, whose installation was completed this summer, provide 8 gigawatts a year and cover 80% of the stadium’s electrical needs.

Horizontal wind turbines

Lyon leaders now plan to buy batteries to store the energy produced by these solar panels. The medium-term objective is clear: increase production by 20% to move towards energy self-sufficiency in the coming years.

By the end of 2023, OL intends to use the roof of the LDLC Arena, the neighboring hall where Asvel’s professional basketball team plays, and the soccer training center to install new panels. Other projects are being considered, such as the installation of horizontal wind turbines in street furniture.

Heating and lighting are the two main items of electricity consumption in sports. The club uses geothermal energy, a process that recovers the heat or coolness of the earth according to the seasons, to heat or cool your lawn. Also favored to guarantee the correct temperature in the common areas of the stadium -such as the halls or the boxes-, geothermal energy allows the annual electricity consumption to be divided by four.

Lyon engineers are also optimizing the minimum temperature at which grass can grow. An operation that would further reduce global warming by a few degrees.

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As part of the energy sobriety plan presented by the government on Thursday, October 6, football clubs are invited to reduce pitch lighting time from 30% in the afternoon to 50% for daytime matches. The Professional Football League immediately ordered Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 clubs to reduce lighting in their stadiums before and after matches this weekend.

lower the temperature

On September 16, in the columns of Parisianthe Minister of Sports and Olympic and Paralympic Games, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, recalled the need to switch to energy-saving LED light bulbs.

Even today, almost half of the clubs in the first division are equipped with energy-intensive sodium lamps. Lyon made the switch to LED in 2017, eighteen months after the Groupama Stadium opened. “This technology allows you to vary the power, instead of staying at full power before and after the game”underlines Xavier Pierrot, director of the Lyon stadium.

For this winter, the leaders of the Rhône also plan to lower the temperature of the club’s facilities, or even cut off the hot water in the common areas.

Sustained efforts that bear fruit. Since its inauguration, the Lyon stadium has managed to reduce its electricity consumption by 5% each year. That represents a saving of 500,000 kilowatt hours, the equivalent of the average annual electricity consumption of a hundred French homes, according to the Enedis distributor.

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