Background Articles and Features

How You Can Benefit From a Microgrid System

The value of installing a microgrid system varies if you’re located in Western Europe where you can access a reliable grid or in Africa where you need to cope with unreliable grid situation. But what’s common across the globe is that you can benefit from a microgrid by stacking the value streams and we can show you how it unfolds for the Wadeville facility located in South Africa and the Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.



In South Africa, the electricity tariff has been rising exponentially over the last several years and is expected to keep climbing. Furthermore, the local utility company Eskom now plans for stage 5 and stage 6 load shedding which means that customers experience up to a 2.5-hour loss of power 3 times a day.

The impact on the operations is significant and local business owners look for solutions to cope with this challenging situation.

The installation of a microgrid onsite helps maintain reliable supply of power and ensure production lines keep running during power outages, eliminating costs associated with unexpected power loss or load shaving such as scrap of unfinalized goods.


But this is not the only value the microgrid system brings. It helps:

  • Decrease costs: help avoid peak charges and reduce the reliance on expensive fuels like diesel
  • Reduce CO2 emissions: facilitate the wider adoption and deployment of renewable power generation
  • Increase autonomy: effectively manage power and generation assets to meet sites individual needs

Looking at the one-year performance data of the system installed at the Wadeville facility in South Africa, the system helped save more than 50% in total cost of operation as illustrated in the graph below.

The microgrid system installed at the Wadeville facility has been officially recognized and received the Industrial Energy Efficiency Award in 2019 at Hannover Messe.

You can access further information on this project on




The value streams at the Johan Cruijff ArenA located in Amsterdam in the Netherlands are slightly different.

The 3 MW energy storage system (ESS) provides a reliable and efficient energy supply and usage for the stadium, its visitors, neighbors and the Dutch energy grid. Combining Eaton power conversion units and the equivalent of 148 Nissan LEAF batteries, the ESS optimizes intermittent renewable energy coming from 4,200 solar panels currently on the stadium roof. The aim for the future is to have the ESS completely replace the diesel generators that currently provide backup.

Savings come from multiple fronts. The ESS enables the ArenA to store cheap off-peak electricity or renewable energy when available and use it at times of peak demand when electricity tariffs are high. The stadiums grid usage is reduced by peak shaving and by thus the corresponding grid fees. On the hardware side, costs for additional diesel generators are saved. The ESS contributes also to the frequency control (FCR) market and generate revenues by selling surplus storage power.

For the first time, an ESS enables such a variety of use cases: backup power, peak shaving, grid services, increased PV self-consumption, and in the future EV charging and V2G.

The ESS is a technology that can be used by other stadiums, arenas as well as data centers and hospitals. You can access further information on this project on


Fabrice Roudet

Head of Energy Storage EMEA



The ees International Magazine is specialized on the future-oriented market of electrical energy storage systems, not only from a technological-, but also a financial and application-oriented point-of-view. In cooperation with ees Global, the ees International Magazine informs the energy industry about current progress and the latest market innovations.
Contact: Xenia Zoller - zoller(at)