SOURCE: Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group

April 08, 2014 13:19 ET

$7 Billion in Total Corporate Funding for Solar in Q1, Reports Mercom Capital Group

Strong Quarter for M&A, Project Funding and Acquisitions, and Third-Party Funds

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Apr 8, 2014) - Mercom Capital Group, llc, a clean energy communications and research firm, released its funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) report for the solar sector in Q1 2014.

Total global corporate funding in the solar sector, including venture capital (VC), private equity (PE), debt financing, and public financing, came in at $7 billion (B), compared to $5B in Q4 2013.

Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, commented, "It was a robust quarter for solar as financing activity surged in almost all areas. The big story continues to be strong capital markets. VC funding was up with several funding deals involving investment "platforms," while third-party residential/commercial funds continue to raise record amounts."

Global VC funding, PE and corporate VC in Q1 2014 totaled $251 million (M) in 26 deals, up from $87 M in 24 deals in Q4 2013. Solar downstream companies attracted most of the VC funding, with $182M in 13 deals.

Figure: Solar VC Funding Q1 2014

The Top 5 VC/PE deals in Q1 were: the $125M Series-C raise by Renewable Energy Trust Capital, a finance platform established to acquire and own solar projects and provider of a single comprehensive equity capital source, the $42M raised by SolarBridge Technologies, a provider of microinverters and monitoring technology for solar systems, solar project developer FLS Energy's $18M raise, the $11M brought in by for-profit social enterprise d.light, which manufactures and distributes solar lighting and power products, and the $7M raised by Off-Grid Electric, a Tanzania-based company providing solar energy in Africa using a prepaid model.

Announced large-scale project funding in Q1 2014 totaled $3.6B in 43 deals compared to $6B in 46 deals last quarter.

Figure: Top 5 Large-scale Projects Funded

Mercom also noted the continued upward trend in third-party residential and commercial solar lease fundraising in Q1 2014, tracking more than $1B raised.

Corporate solar M&A activity surged to a record 38 transactions in Q1 2014, up from 25 transactions in Q4 2013. Solar downstream companies were involved in most M&A transactions with 22. "M&A activity was strong among installers, developers, and distributors, while third-party finance firms were actively making acquisitions as they vertically integrate their businesses," continued Prabhu.

It was also a record quarter for project acquisitions in Q1 2014, totaling $1.5B in 42 transactions with more than 1.7 GW in solar projects changing hands.

Mercom also tracked 170 large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q1 2014 representing almost 7 GW.

Figure: Top 5 Large-scale Project Acquisitions

Get the report.

About Mercom Capital Group
Mercom Capital Group is a communications and research firm focused on clean energy and financial communications. Mercom delivers market intelligence reports covering Solar, Wind, and Smart Grid. Mercom advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and overall strategic decision-making. We help cleantech companies and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision-makers and local communities. http://www.mercomcapital.com.

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