Galatasaray focuses on ecology and invests in renewable energy sources. A solar power plant will be built on the roof of the Türk Telekom Stadium, which will be one of the largest installations of this type in the world.
Largest stadium solar power plant in the world
It is becoming more and more popular to install solar panels on stadium roofs. The clubs see this as a huge saving in energy costs, as well as positive PR generated by the dissemination of information about betting on "green energy". It is no different in the case of Galatasaray.
The average annual electricity consumption at the Türk Telekom Stadium is TRY 7 million (€ 0.75 million). Currently, when matches are played behind closed doors, energy consumption has dropped to TRY 5.5 million (€ 0.59 million).
Galatasaray has decided to take a step towards generating its own electricity. The club's authorities have signed a contract with Enerjisa Enerji to build the world's largest solar power plant on the roof of the stadium. The company will operate the power plant for the first 10 years after its inception.
During this time, Galatasaray will continue to pay its electricity bills as it is now. The repair and maintenance costs are borne by the operator of the solar panels. After 10 years, Galatasaray will operate the power plant for another 15 years. The power plant at the Türk Telekom stadium will become the property of "Galata" in 2032.
Benefits for environment and club's finances
The rooftop power plant is to have 10,000 solar panels with a total area of 40,000 square metres. Its transmission capacity will be able to supply electricity to 2,000 households. The installation itself is to be built 12 months after signing the contract, which took place on March 9, 2021. The construction of the power plant will be financed by Enerjisa Enerji, and the cost of its creation is estimated at TRY 20 million (€ 2, 1 million).
The solar power plant at the Türk Telekom stadium will have a capacity of 4.1 MW. In doing so, it will beat the Estádio Nacional de Brasília Mané Garrincha power plant, which produces 2.5 MW per year. The investment will reduce annual CO2 consumption by approximately 3,250 tonnes, which experts believe would save 200,000 trees over 25 years of its lifetime.
According to today's billing, Galatasaray will save 63% of the current annual consumption after acquiring the operating rights in 2032. The energy deficit of 37% will be covered by TEDAŞ over the next 15 years. With today's money, this will save for the club TRY 4.4 million by 2032.
Retractable roof? Even less likely now
The vast surface expected to be covered by the new photovoltaic system means that almost 75% of the roof (totalling 55,000 m2) will be covered. It makes the possibility of adding a retractable roof even less probable than before.
Of course, after a decade in use supporters of Galatasaray may have already forgotten about this element but back in 2011 the football club was expected to add two sliding halves on top of the permanent roof. The project, incidentally also priced at TRY 20 million back then (would be far more expensive nowadays), never happened, although the stadium remains ready structurally to add the sliding portions. Now that photovoltaic panels will cover the retractable parts’ resting positions, it’s even less likely to ever come to fruition.
Author: Tomasz Sobura