Investment in the US clean-tech industry topped US$5.8 billion in the second quarter of 2015, with project financing deals for solar among the most buoyant areas of activity, a report from PwC has found.
The international consultancy’s latest ‘US Cleantech Investment and Insights’ report recorded some US$1.244 billion worth of project financing received by solar in the US during Q2.
Although this was marginally down on Q2 last year, it represents over 20% of all clean-tech investment made in the quarter.
Around half of the total project finance activity relating to solar during the quarter came from one US$669 million deal for the Silver State South PV plant in Nevada, according to the report. The plant is currently being built by US firm First Solar for NextEra Energy Resources.
The report also singled out ongoing interest in yieldcos as a noteworthy trend for the quarter.
It said the factors behind the growing interest in yieldcos – the strong dividends they offer and the low cost of capital the offer for renewable energy projects – would continue to attract investors
“Both trends are likely to continue throughout 2015 as additional potential sponsors look at yieldco listings and existing yieldcos hunt for attractive portfolios of projects to add to their asset base,” the report said.
“Future build-out of both renewable and non-renewable generation as well as supporting infrastructure due to continued low natural gas prices and environmental regulations, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, offer additional potential growth opportunities.”
PwC said smart grid and energy storage companies had fared well in Q2, attracting solid venture capital funding, with investors apparently keen on providing later stage support for innovative battery technologies.
In total VC funding topped US$359 million, up 31% quarter on quarter.