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Oxford reveals plans for UK’s first all-electric stadium

February 15 2024 - News Release News Editorial

Hot on the heels of signing up to the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework last week, EFL League One football club Oxford United has unveiled a stunning proposal to build the UK’s first all-electric stadium.

Oxford reveals plans for UK’s first all-electric stadium

The club, which plays in the third tier of English football, plans to use low-carbon energy supply to create the venue, with power set to be generated by solar panels. 

Oxford’s new stadium will have a proposed capacity of 16,000 and will not use any high carbon intensity fossil fuels such as gas. Renewable energy sources, including 3,000 square metres of solar panels, would help to achieve the goal of radical carbon emission reductions. 

Modern building fabric design and heat recovery solutions would be used to maximise thermal efficiency, while other low-carbon energy technology such as air source heat pumps will be the development’s primary heat source. 

Utilising this heat pump technology would provide an estimated 80% reduction in CO2 emissions each year, compared to gas boilers. 

Elsewhere, as part of its commitment to the Climate Action Framework and halving its carbon emissions by 2030 before eventually achieving net-zero by 2040, the stadium would include drainage systems, rain storage and recycling solutions to re-use rainwater. 

“The stadium design has sustainability and visitor experience at its core." Jon Clarke, Development Director at Oxford

“The standout element of the stadium is it will be the most sustainable mid-sized sports venue in the country,” said Jon Clarke, Development Director at Oxford. “We want to make the most of the opportunity to create something special – it would be one of the greenest football stadiums to be built.”

Optimised thermal performance will help to reduce the demand for cooling in summer, while retaining heat in winter, and a fully automated Building Energy Management System will be used to monitor, control and report energy use.

Additional plans include a 180-bed hotel, restaurant, conference centre, health and wellbeing space, gym and community plaza.

“The stadium design has sustainability and visitor experience at its core,” added Clarke. “We’ve maximised modern technology, design and progressive thinking to create the benchmark for future design of stadiums with the protection of our planet in firm focus.

“By avoiding natural gas usage on site and by using highly efficient equipment to serve a high-quality building, the carbon emissions associated with this unique venue will be radically reduced resulting in a very low impact home.”

Timelines were not disclosed, but the club’s deal to play at its current home, Kassam Stadium, expires in 2026.

Image: Oxford United

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