Corporate funding in the global solar industry fell marginally between the first and second quarters of 2014, according to clean energy consulting firm, Mercom Capital.
Mercom’s report, which covers venture capital, debt financing, private equity and public market financing, noted a decrease in total funding from US$7 billion in Q1 2014 to US$6.3 billion in Q2.
Mercom chief executive, Raj Prabhu, said it had nonetheless been a “solid” quarter for the solar sector.
“VC funding was up, public markets remained strong and we are seeing new and innovative financial structures. Residential/commercial solar funds continue to raise record amounts.”
Total VC deals in Q2 were up from US$251 million in Q1 to US$432 million in Q2, with downstream solar companies capturing the lion’s share of this at US$388 million.
The largest deal was residential solar provider Sunrun’s US$150 million equity finance raise, which at the time was claimed to be the largest by a private US residential solar company.
The second quarter of 2014 also saw a hefty total of US$3.5 billion from project funding deals, according to Mercom. This was down slightly on the last quarter’s US$3.6 billion, but came from 33 separate deals, compared to 43 in the last quarter, reflecting the growing size of projects.
The top five project deals included the US$450 million raised for the 150MW Tenaska Imperial Center West project, the US$290 million raised by First Solar for its 141MW Luz Del Norte project in Chile and SunEdison’s US$190 million for the 72MW Maria Elena project, also in Chile (see table, left).
In terms of merger and acquisition activity, the biggest deal of the quarter’s 25 deals by some market was SolarCity’s high-profile US$350 million buyout of PV cell and module manufacturer, Silevo.