Mercom Capital Group has revealed figures which show that total global corporate solar funding reached $5.9 billion in the second quarter, down on Q1.
“Total corporate funding, including venture capital funding, public market, and debt financings, into the solar sector in the second quarter decreased to $5.9 billion compared to $6.4 billion in Q1 2015,” said Raj Prabhu, Co-founder and CEO of Mercom Capital Group, a cleantech communications and research firm.
The figures come courtesy of Mercom Capital Group’s (Mercom) Q2 2015 Solar Funding and M&A Fact Sheet, made available to journalists via email. The total $5.9 billion was spread over a total of 50 deals, made up of $142 million in 24 venture capital (VC) deals, $3.4 billion in 14 debt funding deals, and $2.3 billion in 12 public marketing financing deals.
Both VC and debt funding figures were down on the previous quarter.
“Global VC funding in the solar sector in Q2 2015 came to $142 million in 24 deals compared to the $195 million raised in 27 deals in Q1 2015,” explained Raj Prabhu. This continues a downward trend over the past 5 quarters, each of which has returned ever-decreasing figures, starting with $452 million over 22 deals in Q2’2014.
Specifically, VC funding by technology in this year’s second quarter was split over $60 million in 13 solar downstream deals, $49 million over 4 solar PV deals, $16 million in 4 Balance of System (BOS) deals, an $11 million thin-film solar deal, and $7 million in 2 solar service provider deals.
Debt financing was also down again, though this particular segment has been more fluid over the past 5 quarters, rising and falling between $4.6 billion over 14 deals in Q2’2014, up to an impressive $8.5 billion over 17 deals in Q3’2014, and dropping down to $3.4 billion over 14 deals in this year’s second quarter.
“Q2 2015 was a consecutive record quarter for residential and commercial solar funds with nearly $2 billion raised in five deals,” said Raj Prabhu, staying much the same as the previous quarter which also attracted $2 billion, but spread out over 10 deals. Impressively, in only two quarters of 2015 and 15 deals, residential and commercial solar project funding has already nearly reached 2014’s total funding amount of $14.2 billion deals spread out over 34 deals.
“Project acquisition activity surged this quarter with 66 transactions (30 disclosed) for a total of $2.9 billion, compared to the $953 million in 44 transactions (20 disclosed) in Q1 2015,” continued Raj Prabhu.
The top three largest (disclosed) solar project acquisitions by dollar amount in the second quarter, Abengoa Yield, acquired four solar projects totaling 450 MW from Abengoa for $669 million. NRG Yield followed with the acquisition of a 25 percent interest in the 550 MW Desert Sunlight solar project in Riverside, California from GE Energy Financial Services for $285 million. Followed by United Photovoltaics Group, which acquired 17 solar projects in China from Hareon Solar Technology this quarter.
Furthermore, “About 3.5 GW of solar projects were acquired this quarter. Project developers were the most active solar project acquirers, followed by investment funds and yieldcos,” said Raj Prabhu.