Mercom Capital Group: Total corporate funding in solar sector rises to USD 3.2 billion in Q1, 2017

Solar Corporate Funding Q1 2016 – Q1 2017
Solar Corporate Funding Q1 2016 – Q1 2017

Mercom Capital Group (Austin, TX, U.S.) on April 10th, 2017 released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in the first quarter of 2017.

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

Year-over-year (YoY) funding in Q1, 2017 was about 15 percent higher compared to the USD 2.8 billion raised in Q1, 2016. 



Increased debt financing activity

“Q1 funding levels were up in the solar sector from the 2016 lows, largely due to increased debt financing activity. Corporate funding never reached USD 3 billion 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 (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) for the solar sector saw a 78 percent rise this quarter with USD 585 million in 22 deals compared to USD 329 million raised in the same number of deals in Q4, 2016. The amount raised was also higher YoY compared to the USD 406 million raised in 23 deals in Q1 2016. 

A large part of the VC funding in Q1 2017 went to solar downstream companies; USD 548 million was raised in nine deals.



ReNew Power Ventures raised USD 200 million

Top VC deals included the USD 200 million raised by ReNew Power Ventures followed by the USD 155 million raised by Greenko Energy Holdings, the USD 125 million secured by Hero Future Energies, and then Silicon Ranch’s USD 55 million. A total of 23 VC investors participated in Q1 2017.

Solar public market financing came to USD 461 million in 13 deals in Q1, 2017, slightly lower compared to the USD 615 million (also in 13 deals) in Q4, 2016, but significantly higher compared to the same quarter of last year when USD 94 million was raised in four deals. There was one IPO in Q1 2017 by Clenergy compared to two in Q4 2016. 

Announced debt financing came in strong with USD 2.2 billion raised in 25 deals. In comparison, there were 10 deals in Q4, 2016 for a total of USD 610 million. YoY, USD 2.3 billion was raised in 19 deals in Q1, 2016. Most of the debt was raised by solar downstream companies.


Announced large-scale project funding in remained steady

In Q1, 2017, Solar Mosaic raised USD 139 million through the first securitization of its residential solar loan portfolio at a 4.45 percent interest rate. 

Announced large-scale project funding in Q1, 2017 remained steady with USD 2.6 billion in 33 deals compared to USD 3 billion in 38 deals in Q4, 2016. In a YoY comparison, USD 1.4 billion was raised in 24 deals in Q1, 2016.

Residential and commercial solar funds announced in Q1, 2017 dropped to USD 630 million in six deals compared to USD 1.5 billion in eight deals in Q4, 2016.

During the same quarter last year (Q1 2016), USD 1 billion was raised in six deals. Of the USD 630 million announced this quarter, USD 500 million went towards the lease/PPA model and USD 130 million went to loan funds. A total of more than USD 23 billion has now gone into residential and commercial funds since 2009.

There were 29 solar M&A transactions in Q1, 2017 compared to 20 transactions in Q4, 2016 and 14 transactions in Q1, 2016. Of the 29 total transactions in Q1, 2017, 20 involved solar downstream companies.


About 7.4 GW of solar projects acquired in Q1, 2017

There were 49 large-scale solar project acquisitions (18 disclosed for USD 1.9 billion) in Q1, 2017 compared to 73 transactions (23 disclosed for USD 2.1 billion) in Q4, 2016.

In a YoY comparison, there were 50 transactions (22 disclosed for USD 1.2 billion) in Q1, 2016. About 7.4 GW of solar projects were acquired in Q1, 2017 compared to 5 GW in Q4, 2016.

Investment firms and funds were the most active acquirers Q1, 2017, picking up about 21 projects totaling 2.8 GW, followed by project developers with nine transactions for 3.3 GW. Yieldcos had four transactions for 962 MW.

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


To learn more about the report, visit:


Mercom Capital Group








2017-04-11| Courtesy:  | © Heindl Server GmbH

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