Mercom Capital Group, llc, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm, released its report on funding and merger and acquisition (M&A) activity for the solar sector in the third quarter (Q3) and the first nine months (9M) of 2019. Total corporate funding (including venture capital/private equity, public market, and debt financing) in 9M 2019 was up with $9 billion raised, compared to the $6.7 billion raised in 9M 2018, a 34% increase year-over-year (YoY).

Corporate funding into the solar sector in Q3 2019 came to $3 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in Q3 2018.

“Corporate funding activity so far this year is ahead of last year’s levels as demand outlook looks positive, and solar public companies continue to do well. In Q3 2019, over $100 million in venture funding went to technology and manufacturing-focused companies which is rare. Five IPOs and over a billion dollars in securitization deals so far this year have been the highlights,” said Raj Prabhu, CEO of Mercom Capital Group.

In 9M 2019, global VC funding (venture capital, private equity, and corporate venture capital) in the solar sector was 13% higher with $1 billion compared to $889 million raised in the first nine months of 2018. Global VC/PE funding in Q3 2019 totaled $208 million in 11 deals.

The top VC deals in 9M 2019 were: the $300 million raised by Renew Power, $144 million raised by Avaada Energy, $65 million secured by Yellow Door Energy, $50 million raised by BBOXX, and $50 million raised by Spruce Finance.

A total of 88 VC investors participated in solar funding in 9M 2019.

Solar public market financing in 9M 2019 rose to $2.25 billion in 13 deals, 25% higher compared to $1.8 billion in 14 deals in 9M 2018. Public market financing into the solar sector came to $1.3 billion in five deals in Q3 2019 with the help of two IPOs.

A total of five IPOs in the solar sector have together brought in $1.3 billion in 9M 2019.

Announced debt financing activity in the first nine months of 2019 ($5.8 billion in 37 deals) was 43% higher compared to the first nine months of 2018. Six solar securitization deals brought in a total of $1 billion in 9M 2019. Cumulatively, $4.7 billion has now been raised through securitization deals since 2013.

There were a total of 13 project funding deals larger than $100 million in Q3 2019.

The top project funding deal in Q3 2019 was Powertis, which received $613 million from BNDES (Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social) and BNB (Banco do Nordeste), to develop a 765 MW solar PV portfolio in Brazil. A total of 60 investors provided funds for large-scale project development in Q3 2019.

In 9M 2019, there were a total of 57 (10 disclosed) solar M&A transactions compared to 64 (16 disclosed) transactions in 9M 2018.

The top M&A solar transaction in 9M 2019 was the $255 million acquisition of a 78.5% stake in Perseo, operator of photovoltaic generation facilities, by ERG, through its subsidiary ERG Power Generation.

There were 20 solar M&A transactions in Q3 2019 compared to 19 solar M&A transactions in Q2 2019 and 18 transactions in Q3 2018. Of the 20 transactions in Q3 2019, 14 involved solar downstream companies, five involved balance of system (BOS) companies, and one deal involved a solar service provider.

Project acquisition activity was lower in 9M 2019, with 15.9 GW of solar projects acquired, compared to 23.6 GW acquired in the same period last year. In Q3 2019, a total of 34 projects for a combined 4.3 GW were acquired.

Project developers were the major acquirers of solar assets and accounted for about 2.2 GW of acquisitions in Q3 2019, followed by investment firms and funds, which picked up 739 MW of projects, and utilities and independent power producers (IPPs) which acquired 536 MW of projects.

Notable India Deals in Q3 2019:

VC Funding:

Nocca Robotics - provider of Innovative water-less solar project cleaning robot for utility scale solar projects - raised $1.67 million from the early-stage IAN Fund, with participation from angel investors of Indian Angel Network (IAN).

Public Market Financing:

Shapoorji Pallonji-backed Sterling & Wilson Solar, a provider of solar EPC solution - closed its initial public offer (IPO), backed by global institutional investors raising $406 million on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Corporate M&A:

Renewable energy company SunEdison Infrastructure Limited (formerly YKM Industries Limited) - acquired Megamic Electronics Private Limited (a provider of end-to-end solar monitoring solutions for industrial and commercial customers), according to a corporate filing by the company at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The acquisition is valued at ₹10 million (~$0.1 million) along with 0.3% equity shares of SunEdison in exchange for a 51% stake in Megamic Electronics.

To recall, an another Mercom report, solar installations in the Indian solar market declined by 14% in Q2 2019 reaching 1,510 MW, compared to 1,761 MW in Q1 2019. Installations were also lower year-over-year (YoY) compared to 1,665 MW in Q2 2018.

Meanwhile, a report ranked San Diego in the US as the no. 1 nationally with 303 megawatts of installed solar capacity. Researchers said San Diego currently has enough solar capacity to power the equivalent of nearly 76,000 homes backed by several solar companies including

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