When it opened in 2009, the WWK ARENA became the first carbon-neutral stadium in the world thanks to its use of geothermal energy. Two large pumps deliver both heating and cooling for the air conditioning of the stadium and for the pitch’s undersoil heating. The administrative building, which was opened in 2018, is also connected to the power source at the WWK ARENA. Through the fitting of a CHP unit and by obtaining green electricity from hydroelectric energy and renewable natural gases to operate the heating of the pitches at the arena’s training centre, the site is still operated in a predominantly sustainable manner, in spite of the continuing growth in usage and infrastructure.
The required water is provided from two wells which were dug outside the stadium. Circulation pumps pump a maximum of 200,000 litres of water per hour through two plate heat exchangers and then pump it back into the groundwater stream, having cooled it by a few degrees. This deprives the warmer groundwater of some it its energy, bringing a cooling agent to a stage of evaporation. The resulting gas is compressed and thus further heated.
12,000 litres of water in a heating silo can now be warmed up to 60 degrees Celsius. This ensures the WWK ARENA can provide heating for the VIP and lounge areas, as well as changing rooms and offices during the cold months of the year. The energy is also enough to cover the pitch heating. Overall, the climate-neutral use of the stadium saves more than 750 tons of carbon dioxide a year. The energy concept of the arena was developed in cooperation with energy suppliers Lechwerke AG (LEW) and Augsburg’s municipal works, who have also been running the site for FC Augsburg since its instalment.
In 2011, Augsburg’s arena was awarded by the “Deutschland – Land der Ideen” initiative along with 365 other award winners.