SOURCE: Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group

January 07, 2016 15:05 ET

Total Corporate Funding in Solar Sector Comes in at $25.3 Billion, Record $5.5 Billion Raised by Residential and Commercial Solar Funds in 2015, Over $1 Billion in VC Funding, Reports Mercom Capital Group

Record Number of Large-Scale Projects Acquired

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Jan 7, 2016) - Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in 2015.

Total global corporate funding in the solar sector, including venture capital/private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing, raised by public companies came to $25.3 billion (B), compared to $26.5B in 2014.

Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, commented, "Overall it was a good year for fundraising in the solar sector considering the turbulence in the stock markets and trouble with yieldcos in the 2nd half of the year. The extension of the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) was a much needed boost for the sector, paving the way for a strong 2016."

Chart: Solar Corporate Funding 2010-2015

Global VC investments came to $1.1B in 83 deals in 2015, compared to $1.3B in 85 deals in 2014.

Chart: Solar VC Funding

Solar downstream companies accounted for $727 million (M) of the $1B raised. Investments in PV technology companies reached $173M and Balance of Systems companies raised $87M. Thin-film companies raised $44M, service providers raised $15M, and CPV and CSP each raised $3M.

The largest of the Top 5 VC deals was $300M raised by Sunnova Energy, followed by $105M raised by Silicor Materials. Sunlight Financial raised $80M and Sungevity raised $50M. Conergy raised $45M, completing the Top 5.

Chart: Solar Top 5 VC Funded Companies

There were 109 active investors in 2015 with 14 involved in multiple rounds, including: DBL Partners, Infuse Ventures, Bamboo Finance, Clean Energy Venture Group, DOEN Foundation, ENGIE Rassembleurs d'Energies, Hudson Clean Energy Partners, International Finance Corporation, Kohli Ventures, Longwall Venture Partners, MTI Partners, Parkwalk, Tenaska and University of Oxford.

Public market financing reached $6B raised in 38 deals. There were seven IPOs bringing in more than $1.8B. Yieldcos raised $1.1B in two IPOs.

Debt financing totaled $18.3B. There were four securitization deals in 2015, totaling $335 million, by Solar City, SunRun, BBOXX and AES.

Large-scale project funding in 2015 exceeded $11.6B in 124 deals this year, compared to 2014 in which $14.2B was raised in 144 deals.

Residential and commercial solar project funds reached a record of 23 funds totaling $5.5B, compared to the $4B raised in 34 funds in 2014.

Corporate M&A transactions in 2015 came to more than $3B in 80 transactions. Solar downstream companies had the greatest number of acquisitions with 49 transactions.

There were a record 204 large-scale project acquisitions for over 12.7 GW, double from 2014 when 6.4 GW changed hands in 163 transactions. Spurred by yieldcos, 2015 has been by far the best year for solar project acquisitions.

Chart: Solar Top 5 M&A Transactions

Mercom tracked 373 large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q4 2015 totaling 12 GW and 1,118 project announcements totaling 41.1 GW for 2015 in various stages of development globally.

To learn more about the report, visit: http://bit.ly/MercomSolarQ42015

About Mercom Capital Group
Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and research firm focused on cleantech and financial communications. Mercom's consulting division advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and overall strategic decision making. Mercom's communications division helps clean energy companies with their public relations strategies, building powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision makers, local communities and strategic partners. For more information, visit: http://www.mercomcapital.com.