Funding in solar sector drops 59% quarter-over-quarter
Total corporate funding, including venture capital funding, public market and debt financing, in the solar sector in Q1 2016 dropped to $2.8 billion compared to $6.9 billion in Q4 2015, a decline of about 59% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Year-over-year, total corporate funding was down compared to $6.4 billion in 64 deals in Q1 2015.Notable Indian Transactions in Q1 2016 included a $250 million project funding from Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) by ReNew Power Ventures, an independent power producer, to construct 400 MW of new solar power projects in India across multiple states. It also includes a $9.6 million raised from Yes Bank and Union Bank of India by Brightsolar Renewable Energy, a special purpose vehicle setup by Mahindra Susten for developing a 10 MW solar project based on crystalline PV technology at Anantpur District in Andhra Pradesh.Other funding during the quarter included equity financing raised from a London-based fund by P2 Solar, a solar project developer for its 5 MW solar PV project. Zolt Energy, a solar rooftop installer, also raised an undisclosed seed funding from seven angel investors. Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group said: “It’s a tough environment out there. Solar public companies in general have had a difficult time raising capital at depressed market valuations. Yieldcos, which accounted for significant financial activity in the debt and public markets last year, have faded this quarter. On the bright side, venture capitalist funding held up well, securitization deal activity picked up, residential and commercial funds raised a billion dollars in Q1.” Global venture funding for the solar sector came in at $406 million in 23 deals compared to $457 million raised in 17 deals in Q4 2015. Year-over-year, venture funding was up compared to Q1 2015 when $195 million went into 27 deals.