M7 metro car in Amsterdam

Amsterdam metros to feed brake energy back to power grid

Similar technology that this Amsterdam metro will get is already in use in Belgium and Germany 2022, PatrickJosh / Wikimedia Commons

Amsterdam public transport companies GVB and the Amsterdam transport region will initiate a project next year whereby brake energy from metros is fed back to the grid. This should increase the available energy for both the city and the rolling stock itself.

The project uses specially adapted converter stations to feed brake energy back to the grid. Both the Alstom-built M5 metro cars and the M7 rolling stock by CAF can recuperate brake energy. The M5 cars were delivered between 2012 and 2015, the first M7’s made their debut in February. The project team has identified four locations along the metro network where the converter stations will be fitted with technology to feed energy back to the grid. The retrofits will begin in in 2024 and the project should kick off in the third quarter of that year.

The technology to feed energy back to the grid is not new. It is also being utilised in Brussels, Belgium, and in the German city of Stuttgart, for example. According to project coordinator Peter Silvis, in comments to Dutch sister publication SpoorPro, the preparations, negotiations and agreements with grid operator Liander took some time in Amsterdam. The project is also dependent on sufficient numbers of new M7 metro cars being deployed on the network.

Silvis also said that several options for the use of brake energy were evaluated, such as battery storage or only utilising it within the GVB’s own network. The latter proved too expensive, as this would require major additional cabling. While battery storage would have local benefits, it too did not prove cost-efficient. The operator will receive a fee for feeding energy back in the grid, reducing its overall energy bill. With additional energy available, it will also help reduce indirect CO2 emissions. Finally, feeding brake energy to the grid can also help in shaving off peak demand in winter or summer, when heating systems and airconditioning units raise energy requirements.

Further reading:

Author: Nick Augusteijn

Former Chief Editor of RailTech.com

2 comments op “Amsterdam metros to feed brake energy back to power grid”

bönström bönström|23.03.23|14:42

But, of course, this the too obvious, in particular at an electrified mode, regrettably thereby now, devastatingly short of redundancy…, no longer shall be neglected!
At road transports, an other, a robust, redundant (upgradable) mode…, due for “electrification” – as hybride etc., as well, all over, any option for energy recycling, duly now shall be benefitted of!

Noa ter Horst|28.03.23|08:58

Interesting article. Great innovative green energy plan

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