SOURCE: Mercom Capital Group

Mercom Capital Group

April 11, 2017 13:35 ET

Total Corporate Funding in Solar Sector Rises to $3.2 Billion in Q1 2017, Reports Mercom Capital Group

Debt and VC funding up, Increased M&A activity

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Apr 11, 2017) -  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 Q1 of 2017.

Total corporate funding (including venture capital, public market and debt financing) into the solar sector in Q1 2017 doubled with $3.2 billion (B) compared to $1.6B in Q4 2016.

Chart: Solar Corporate Funding Q12017

"Q1 funding levels were up in the solar sector from the 2016 lows, largely due to increased debt financing activity. Corporate funding never reached $3B in any of the quarters in 2016. M&A activity was also strong with several large deals. Solar public companies also had a good first quarter," commented Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

Global VC funding came to $585 million (M) in 22 deals compared to $329M in 22 deals in Q4 2016.

Solar downstream companies had the most funding with $548M in nine deals.

Chart: Solar VC Funding Q1 2017

Solar public market financing came to $461M in 13 deals in Q1 2017, lower than the $615M (13 deals) in Q4 2016. There was one IPO in Q1 2017. 

Announced debt financing came to $2.2B in 25 deals, compared to $610 M in 10 deals in Q4 2016. Most of the debt went to solar downstream companies.

There was one securitization deal in Q1 2017.

Announced large-scale project funding in Q1 2017 came to $2.6B in 33 deals compared to $3B in 38 deals in Q4 2016.

Chart: Top 5 Announced Large-scale Projects Funded by Dollar Amount in Q12017

Residential and commercial solar funds announced in Q1 2017 came to $630M in six deals compared to $1.5B in eight deals in Q4 2016. Of the $630M announced this quarter, $500M went to lease/PPAs and $130M went to loans. More than $23B has now gone into residential and commercial funds since 2009.

There were 29 solar M&A transactions in Q1 2017 (20 involved solar downstream companies) compared to 20 transactions in Q4 2016.

There were 49 large-scale solar project acquisitions (18 disclosed for $1.9B) in Q1 2017 compared to 73 transactions (23 disclosed for $2.1B) in Q4 2016. About 7.4 GW of solar projects were acquired in Q1 2017. Investment firms/funds were the most active acquirers in Q1 2017, followed by project developers, then yieldcos.

Chart: Solar Top 5 Project Acquisitions by Dollar Amount in Q1 2017

Mercom tracked 233 new large-scale project announcements worldwide in Q1 2017 totaling 12.7 GW.

Full report:

About Mercom
Mercom Capital Group is a global research and communications firm focused on clean energy. Mercom produces funding and market intelligence reports covering Solar, Smart Grid, Battery Storage and Efficiency. Mercom advises cleantech companies on new market entry, custom market intelligence and overall strategic decision-making, visit: