The company reports that total disclosed investments for the solar sector came in at USD$13.8 billion for 34 transactions compared to USD$1.7 billion for 30 transactions during Q1. However, it stated: The USD$11.7 billion in loans issued to Suntech and Trina Solar by the Chinese Development Bank skews these numbers heavily.
Other significant funding transactions in the sector included a USD$175 million private placement by Solyndra, a Series D raise by Brightsource Energy of USD$150 million, a Series B raise by Amonix of USD$129.4 million, a debt and equity raise by Solar Power Partners for USD$115 million, project financing secured by AES solar for USD$128 million and a credit facility secured by Sunpower for USD$350 million.
It went on to say that M&A activity for Q2 was relatively similar to Q1 activity, with 11 M&A deals compared to 10 deals in Q1. Out of the eleven M&A transactions, only two of them were disclosed for a total of USD$298 million compared to the first quarter, where six were disclosed for USD$784 million. A significant M&A transaction in the sector included the acquisition of Nextlight by First Solar for $285 million, said Mercom.
In addition to tracking VC funding activity, Mercom is also paying close attention to project financing. While VC funding can be indicative of the health of the technology side of clean energy, project-financing activity can indicate the health of the end markets. In the second quarter, we saw a lot of project financing and loans, giving us confidence that projects are getting funded, which was a big concern coming out of the recession. We also saw a lot more activity in both funding and M&A for Smart Grid, commented Raj Prabhu, managing partner of Mercom Capital Group.