The home ground of Istanbul giant Galatasaray has made it to the Guinness Book of World Records with a rather unique feature: 10,404 rooftop solar panels that provide 4.3 megawatts (MW) of power output.
A ceremony and press conference was held Tuesday at the Ali Sami Yen Sports Complex in Istanbul, which houses the Nef Stadium as it is known for sponsorship purposes, to mark the occasion.
Galatasaray Chairperson Burak Elmas stated that efforts to convert the stadium into a solar energy plant were launched during the tenure of former chairperson late Mustafa Cengiz.
The project will significantly curb energy costs of the stadium Elmas said, adding that it will help the club to generate more income from the stadium outside of match days, especially after 25 years.
Murat Pınar, the CEO of energy producer and distributor Enerjisa, said that the project is important in terms of sustainability and on-site consumption.
"We think that the project we carried out with Galatasaray has set an example to the country, to Turkish sports circles and to future generations. One of the important features of the project is that it came to this point in a mere four months, as it is actually a power plant that can provide electricity for a town of 2,000 residences. The project is one that can generate more than TL 1 billion ($67.5 million) by the end of 25 years. I'm honored and proud for making it to the book of records with such a project," Pınar said.
Bikem Kanık, the vice chairperson of the club, said that the panels will provide 63% of the energy used in the stadium. Ersin Esentürk, vice board chairperson of Enerjisa, noted that Galatasaray will be saving 4.5 million kilowatts of energy per year.