SOURCE: Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group

April 14, 2015 10:40 ET

Total Corporate Funding in Solar Sector Comes in at $6.4 Billion in Q1, VC Funding Down, Record $1.9 Billion Raised by Residential and Commercial Solar Funds, Reports Mercom Capital Group

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Apr 14, 2015) - 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 the first Q1 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, almost doubled with $6.4 billion (B) in Q1 2015, compared to $3.4B in Q4 2014.

Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group, commented, "There was record fundraising this quarter by residential and commercial solar funds as the ITC expiration draws closer. Project acquisition activity remained strong with yieldcos acquiring almost 20 percent of the projects."

VC funding fell to $189 million (M) in 26 deals, compared to $315M in 16 deals in Q4 2014. Solar downstream companies continued to attract most of the VC funding with $112M in 12 deals.

Chart: Mercom Solar VC Funding Q1 2014-2015

The Top 5 VC deals in Q1 2015 include the $45M raised by Conergy from RWE Supply & Trading and Kawa Capital Management, the $25M raised by NEXTracker from SJF Ventures, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Sigma Partners and DBL Investors, the $12.6M raise by Fenix International from GDF Suez, Schneider Electric, Orange France Telecom and other investors, the $12.45M raise by M-KOPA Solar from LGT Venture Philanthropy, Lundin Foundation, Treehouse Investments and Blue Haven Initiative, and ~$12.3M raise by Oxford Photovoltaics from Oxford University, MTI Partners, Longwall Venture Partners, Parkwalk Advisors and other investors.

A total of 33 VCs invested in Q1 2015, with DBL Investors and Tenaska participating in two deals each.

Public market financing came to $1.3B. There was one IPO this quarter: SolarEdge, a balance-of-system company, raised $126M and listed on Nasdaq.

Debt financing increased substantially this quarter with almost $5B.

Announced large-scale project funding totaled $2.5B in 29 deals.

Chart: Mercom Solar Top 5 Announced Large-Scale Projects Funded By Dollar Amount in Q1 2015

This was a record quarter for residential and commercial solar funds with $1.9B raised in 10 deals, the highest amount raised in a quarter.

Chart: Mercom Solar Residential/Commercial Funds Q1 2015

There were 29 corporate M&A transactions in the solar sector in Q1, compared to 21 transactions in Q4 2014. Solar downstream companies accounted for most of the M&A transactions with 20.

The largest disclosed M&A transaction by dollar amount was the $265M acquisition of Recurrent Energy by Canadian Solar.

There were 44 large-scale solar project acquisitions totaling $953M with about 2 GW changing hands. Investment funds were the most active solar project acquirers this quarter.

Chart: Mercom Solar Top 5 Project Acquisitions by Megawatts in Q1 2015

Mercom also tracked 190 large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q1 2015 representing 7 GW.

To learn more about the report, visit: http://store.mercom.mercomcapital.com/?p=2023

About Mercom Capital Group
Mercom Capital Group, llc, is a global communications and research and consulting firm focused exclusively on clean energy and financial communications. Mercom delivers widely read industry funding and market intelligence reports covering Solar Energy, Wind Energy and Smart Grid. 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 and financial institutions build powerful relationships with media, analysts, government decision-makers, local communities and strategic partners. For more information about Mercom Capital Group, visit: http://www.mercomcapital.com. To get a copy of Mercom's popular market intelligence reports, visit: http://mercomcapital.com/market_intelligence.php