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Buskowitz seeks to raise up to P1-B for solar rooftop projects

By Angelica Y. Yang

BUSKOWITZ Energy is looking at raising around P1 billion for solar rooftop projects this year, about 40% of which would be funded by a local company, the renewable energy developer’s top executive said.

“Our initial idea is to raise a billion [pesos], maybe a little less, given that it’s already February. [Our] target is to invest about 800 to 1 billion [pesos] this year,” the firm’s Chief Executive Officer James Buskowitz told BusinessWorld in a video call Thursday.

The projected capital raising is more than twice the previously recorded amount in 2019. “In 2019, we raised about 3 [to] 4 million [pesos]… every two years, we’ve almost doubled our capital raises,” he said.

Mr. Buskowitz said that the firm did not raise capital in 2020, as the company was spending funds raised from previous years for services, including outright purchase and residential projects.

He explained that the firm planned to raise 40% of the target fund-raising from a local firm, adding that Buskowitz Energy would disclose more information about the infusion in the coming weeks.

According to Mr. Buskowitz, 60% of the firm’s planned capital will come from foreign banks and wealth funds.

“We’re currently discussing with foreign international banks and sovereign wealth funds, the debt component of the projects. So far, we have ongoing discussions with them and it’s between two other international financiers that are going to be providing the debt. We’re looking at around 500 to 600 million [pesos] in debt capital for projects as an initial start,” he said.

This year’s planned capital-raising would mainly go to rooftop solar projects, Mr. Buskowitz said.

Last year, Buskowitz Energy was able to install a total capacity of 5 megawatts of solar in the residential and commercial segments.

In November, the firm held a three-day “Black Friday Sale” that gave a 40% discount for its signature Solar Home Systems per package, with rates starting at around P119,000.

On Thursday, Mr. Buskowitz said that the sale accounted for 30% to 40% of the firm’s sales in the residential segment last year.

“The Black Friday Sale was very effective… That was very, very successful and it was also a very good discount. It’s something that we would like to be offering a lot more,” he said.

Buskowitz Energy is a sustainable solutions company that aims to grow local capabilities in the country’s solar photovoltaic industry.

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