Used car batteries may power football stadium lights

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Old batteries from electric cars could soon be keeping the lights shining at six European football stadiums.

US firm Eaton, which re-uses batteries from Nissan Leaf vehicles, is in talks to update power systems at the as-yet unnamed venues.

Eaton's refurbished batteries are already in use at stadiums in Norway and the Netherlands.

The project is part of a broader push to find new uses for old batteries.

Eaton vice-president Craig McDonnell said the football stadium community across Europe was "interested" in its battery-powered electricity supply system.

Mr McDonnell declined to name which clubs it was talking to but said they were "significant" names.

Last year, Eaton switched on a three-megawatt power storage system at the Johan Cruyff stadium in Amsterdam - home of the Ajax football team.

The Ajax system stores power generated by solar panels fixed to the roofs of the stadium's stands so it is available for evening and night-time events.

Many governments have started projects to re-use batteries for electric cars that can no longer be used to power the vehicles. Like many other rechargeable batteries the systems can degrade over time.

Car-makers BMW, Hyundai, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Renault are also re-using batteries for domestic and industrial power storage rather than recycling the materials in them.

BMW used 500 battery packs from its i3 cars for a power system in Wales that stores electricity generated by a wind farm. The Pen y Cymoedd location uses 76 turbines and can provide power for up to 15% of Welsh homes.

In South Australia, Tesla used its battery technology to store power for a massive project to improve electricity supplies in the region.

The European Commission has also funded many projects to repurpose degraded batteries to help "smart grid" projects.

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