A new report by Mercom Capital Group, investigating corporate funding and merger and acquisition activity for the solar sector in the first quarter of 2015, found funding had almost doubled to $6.4 billion in Q1’2015.
The report covered total corporate funding in the solar sector, including venture capital and private equity (VC), debt financing, and public market financing raised by public companies, as well as merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for Q1’15.
Mercom Capital found that corporate funding had almost doubled, reaching $6.4 billion, compared to $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014.
“There was record fundraising this quarter by residential and commercial solar funds as the ITC expiration draws closer,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group. “Project acquisition activity remained strong with yieldcos acquiring almost 20 percent of the projects.”
However, according to the report, VC funding fell to $189 million across 26 deals, compared to $315 million in 16 deals in Q4’14. Specifically, according to Mercom, “solar downstream companies continued to attract the most of the VC funding with $112 million in 12 deals.”
Public market financing reached $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2015, compared to $1.6 billion in the last quarter, with only one IPO, SolarEdge, raising $126 million.
Debt financing increased substantially, however, growing to almost $5 billion, compared to a seemingly-measly $1.5 billion in Q4’14. Amazingly, over $2 billion went to SunEdison and its yieldco Terraform Power.
Mercom also detailed large-scale project financing, which totaled $2.5 billion over 29 deals, compared to Q4’14’s $3.4 billion over 33 deals.
Meanwhile, there were 44 large-scale solar project acquisitions totaling $953 million, involving almost 2 GW. Q4’14 saw 49 transactions but only $898 million.