Canadian Manufacturing

Funding for solar down slightly in second-quarter of 2015

Investment down marginally, but industry growth remains strong for renewable tech



Solar panels at Limanskaya Solar Power Station, Ukraine

Solar panels at Limanskaya Solar Power Station, Ukraine

AUSTIN, TX—The total global corporate funding in the solar sector, was down slightly in the second-quarter of 2015, according to global clean energy communications and consulting firm, Mercom Capital Group.

Funding for solar, including venture capital and private equity, debt financing, and public market financing raised by public companies, decreased slightly to US$5.9-billion, compared to $6.4-billion in the first quarter of 2015.

“Overall corporate funding was down slightly this quarter,” Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom, said.

“Residential and commercial solar funds continue to attract record funding as the ITC expiration deadline approaches,” he added.

Venture capital funding also dipped to $142 million in 24 deals, compared to $195 million in 27 deals in the first-quarter of 2015. Solar downstream companies continued to attract most of the venture capital funding with $60 million in 13 deals, the report said.

Among the venture capital deals in quarter-two was the $40-million raised by Applied Solar Technologies. Rounding out the top-five deals were Solexel, which raised $29.5 million, Solantro Semiconductor that raised $11-million, Flisom that raised $10.7-million, and Persimmon Technologies that raised $8.9-million.

While overall figures were down, public market financing was a record $2.3 billion during the second quarter. Mercom also noted one IPO in the past three months: 8point3 Energy Partners raised $420 million and was listed on NASDAQ.

Residential and commercial solar funds raised by third-party solar finance companies also recorded their highest quarter to date, with five deals totaling $1.93-billion.

In additional to the announced funding, the report found there were 66 large-scale solar project acquisitions totaling $2.9-billion with about 3.5 gigawatts of capacity changing hands in the second-quarter. Project developers acquired 1.7 gigawatts of large-scale solar projects followed by yieldcos with 1.1 gigawatts.

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