Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk recently visited Turkey on President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's invitation, and Tesla has made an offer to make an energy investment in Istanbul's new airport. Working to produce a battery to store electricity, Tesla has also offered to set up an electrical storage unit at the new airport, according to a report in the Dünya daily.
Tesla Vice President of Business Development Diarmuid O'Connell made an investment proposal to Mehmet Kalyoncu, a member of the İGA executive committee, for the use of Tesla's new Powerwall electrical storage unit to meet the energy needs of the new airport.
Those involved with Istanbul's new airport participated in the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the U.N. Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), one of the world's most important events on climate change.
Kalyoncu met with a group of journalists following the conference in Bonn, Germany. He said that those from the Kalyoncu University Incubation Center in Gaziantep paid a visit to the Tesla center in San Francisco. During this visit, he said they received an investment proposal from O'Connell to set up an energy storage system at the airport. Kalyoncu noted that the İGA aims to build every facility at the airport with domestic sources.
"If we can produce domestic batteries, it would be much better for us to carry out this project with them. Domestic battery technology should be taken into consideration just like the way the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey [TOBB] led the way for the domestic automobile," Kalyoncu said. "We will evaluate this offer from Tesla because such large investments must be evaluated in overcoming the entry of barriers to industry."Kalyoncu further said the storage of electricity would contribute $4 billion to Turkey, and the problem of power cuts would come to an end. He also said that there are airports in the world heated with solar panels, explaining that Kalyon Holding will open a solar panel factory in Ankara at the end of this year and the investment will be completed within a year. "It will operate for our own power plant in the first two years. But after that, we can produce panels for use in the İGA," he added.
There is intense interest from foreign airlines in the new airport. "It has not come to the point of signing a deal yet, but more aircraft will come from Singapore and Uzbekistan," Kalyoncu said. "Saudi Arabia is very aggressive. We are especially engaged in business development activities with China and India. No contract has been signed at the moment, but proposals are collected."