Buskowitz installs solar PV system in San Carlos building
Originally published on Business World Online
SOLAR ENERGY developer Buskowitz on Saturday launched a 1.1-megawatt (MW) system on the rooftop of a commercial building in San Carlos City, Pangasinan.
By Victor V. Saulon, Sub-editor
SOLAR ENERGY developer Buskowitz on Saturday launched a 1.1-megawatt (MW) system on the rooftop of a commercial building in San Carlos City, Pangasinan, the largest installation so far for the company that previously powered the rooftop of several local gasoline stations.
“Clean, renewable, and sustainable energy is what is going to drive the Philippines forward both in terms of the economy and the protection of the environment, and Buskowitz is really glad to have been involved in such a great project in Pangasinan that not only benefits its environment, but also hopefully encourages other businesses and individuals to make the switch for themselves,” said James Carlos Buskowitz, chairman and chief executive officer of Buskowitz Finance, Inc., in a statement.
The solar photovoltaic (PV) system at San Carlos Town Center took the company three months of installation work, including a setback caused by Typhoon Ompong. Buskowitz described the project as the first and largest commercial solar PV system in the region.
Ahead of the launch, Mr. Buskowitz said in an interview that the company’s installations were focused on the rooftop of gasoline stations, the latest of which is a 10-kilowatt system for one of Petron Corp.’s retail units.
“Ideally, we’d like to do several or potentially all of the Petron stations. We’re doing a very similar model for Shell,” he said.
The company had put up solar PV systems on six gasoline stations of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp., which is aggressively trying to do a national roll-out to have all its stations solar-powered, he said.
“We’re one of the few accredited contractors with Shell. I think there are a total of five or seven at the moment. Basically, we’re looking at a thousand gas stations that could be solarized within the next year or two years,” Mr. Buskowitz said.
“It’s very likely that Petron would follow suit. The gas station we’re doing for Petron now is a franchise though, so it’s probably more difficult with Petron because it’s several franchisees, but not impossible,” he added.
Mr. Buskowitz said his company is keen on cornering Petron-owned gasoline stations, which has the biggest network in the country.
Petron, with its refining capacity of 268,000 barrels a day, produces a full range of fuels and petrochemicals. It has more than 3,000 service stations where it sells gasoline and diesel. Shell has 1,044 retail stations as of May this year after opening 66 last year. It hopes to open 200 to 300 more stores.
“At the moment we are basically just looking to get our foot on the door and say hey we’ve done Petron station, we’ve done Shell stations and eventually we could partner with Petron and do all their stations as well,” Mr. Buskowitz said.
Aside from the business aspect, he points to the environmental impact of the solar PV system installation.
For San Carlos Town Center, for instance, the installation of at least 4,000 solar panels will produce the same amount of electricity to power 184 homes for one year. It will also save 1.3 million pounds of coal from being burned, or the equivalent of 138,428 gallons of gasoline, the company said.
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