Energy Funding: IPOs, M&A, VC and grants for flow batteries, fuel cells, PV trackers and equitable access to solar – pv magazine USA

Another busy funding week with solar IPOs on deck and venture capital investments — but no cleantech SPACs in the last few day, at least.

October 13, 2020

IPOs and other offerings

Solar tracker builder Array Technologies is going public on the Nasdaq exchange and has set its IPO terms. The company plans to raise $675 million by offering 33.8 million shares at a price range of $19 to $21 — giving it a fully-diluted market value of $2.5 billion, were it to price at the midpoint of the range. Array, headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the No. 2 global solar tracker maker, behind Nextracker and ahead of PV Hardware, according to Wood Mackenzie. Other tracker vendors include Soltec, Arctech, SolarSTI, GameChange Solar and Solar Steel.

Six takeaways from the IPO here. The deal is expected to price on Wednesday.

Spanish solar tracker manufacturer Soltec is finalizing an IPO with the aim of making its debut on the Spanish stock markets of Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia to “raise capital to finance its business plan, strengthen its balance sheet and position itself before the expected growth of the photovoltaic industry.” Local lenders Banco Santander and CaixaBank will act as joint global coordinators and book-runners of an IPO which could raise up to $177 million and Soltec. Soltec wants to use the IPO income to finance growth and execute the business plan of the Powertis engineering, procurement and construction services subsidiary it created in 2004. Soltec and Powertis reported combined revenues of $423 million last year.

The IPO would be the first in the Spanish solar sector since late 2018, when developer Solarpack went public. Business intelligence company IHS Markit rates Soltec the world’s third-largest tracker supplier. From pv magazine Spain.

Norwegian floating PV specialist Ocean Sun is seeking a listing on the Merkur Market, a multilateral trading facility which has offered small and medium-sized companies access to the Oslo Stock Exchange since 2016. The company aims to raise $10.9 million through the IPO.

Ocean Sun’s design for floating PV projects at near-shore locations and in semi-sheltered waters consists of a floating buoyancy ring anchored to the seabed with four mooring points and twelve lines. In mid-July, the company signed a deal to develop pilot projects at the 2.1 GW floating solar site planned near the Saemangeum tidal flat, on the coast of the Yellow Sea.“We will normally take a small license fee per watt installed in each project,” said the CEO.  As per reporting in pv magazine.

Norwegian floating PV specialist Ocean Sun plans IPO

Venture funding

Redaptive, a provider of energy efficiency retrofits for commercial and industrial sites, raised $156 million in a financing led by CarVal. Founded in 2013, Redaptive is an energy efficiency-as-a-service firm that performs retrofits and bills customers based on energy savings. Return investors include CBRE, Engie New Ventures, Evergy Ventures, and Linse Capital.

SmartHelio, a Swiss start-up led by Indian entrepreneur Govinda Upadhyay has raised $275,000 for its deep-data driven PV diagnostic tool. The start-up says solar companies can use the SmartHelio cloud-based asset management system with inverters or data loggers or can obtain more accurate data using the company’s cloud service and sensor. SmartHelio CEO Upadhyay told pv magazine: “Basically, our solution is a diagnostic and prescriptive tool. The aim is that we never let the client’s solar plant get sick. We use the client’s existing monitoring [or] supervisory control and data acquisition system [or] inverter and provide [a] deep diagnostic [service]. We also provide smart [internet-of-things-enabled] sensors which give us data from the panel side, helping us to check potential induced degradation, bypass diode failure, connector failure, wire rusting etc.” Alternative Bank Schwiez participated in the funding round.

M&A

Solar installer Sigora Solar acquired California-based Aztec Solar. The acquisition establishes Sigora’s presence in California — the nation’s largest solar market and the fifth largest economy in the world. Sigora Solar now operates in 14 states and is Virginia’s largest residential and commercial solar installer. Aztec Solar is one of the Sacramento area’s pioneers in solar power and has been in business for 40 years.

On-site power manufacturer Generac acquired Denver-based Enbala, a provider of DER energy optimization and control software. The company’s platform is used by utilities and energy retailers to leverage the power of distributed energy resources (DERs) to respond to the real-time energy balancing needs of power systems and energy markets.“We’re on the leading edge of a remarkable transformation of the electrical grid, moving from a dated and centralized power distribution model to one that will be digitized, decentralized and more resilient,” said Aaron Jagdfeld, CEO of Generac. Source: Power Engineering Last year, Generac acquired energy storage firm, Pika Energy.

DOE and CEC funding

The California Energy Commission selected four energy storage projects incorporating vanadium flow batteries from Invinity Energy Systems for funding as part of a $20 million drive towards commercializing long-duration, non-lithium energy storage. The four project sites, comprising 7.8 MWh of Invinity flow batteries in total, are situated across California and will are paired with renewable energy to perform a range of services including peak shaving, demand charge reduction and back-up power.

FuelCell Energy, a solid-oxide fuel cell builder, was selected by the U.S. DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, in collaboration with the Office of Nuclear Energy, for an $8 million funding award to support the design and manufacture of an electrolysis platform capable of producing of hydrogen. This project will be the first multi-stack electrolysis system produced with FCE’s solid oxide technology. The system will be equipped with an option to receive thermal energy,  increasing the electrolysis electrical efficiency to over 90%. The electrolysis system will be delivered to Idaho National Laboratories, where it will undergo testing, as well as the ability to utilize nuclear power plant waste heat.

The Department of Energy awarded $1 million to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for research into pathways to make solar energy more accessible for low- and moderate-income (LMI) consumers and communities. NRECA’s three-year program, Achieving Cooperative Community Equitable Solar Sources (ACCESS), will research financing mechanisms, program designs and engagement strategies to equip electric cooperatives with the tools they need to successfully develop solar projects to benefit LMI consumers. “Solar energy is an integral part of the electric cooperative fuel mix, but it remains out of reach for many low-income consumers,” said Jim Spiers, senior VP at NRECA. “We’re excited to work towards solutions that address this challenge, particularly because electric co-ops often serve higher percentages of LMI consumers, including 92% of the nation’s persistent poverty counties. Source: NRECA

We recently reported on a federally funded program to bring market-based financing to one of solar’s decidedly underserved markets — community solar for low-income, multifamily affordable housing.

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Source: https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2020/10/13/clean-energy-funding-ipos-ma-vc-and-grants-for-flow-batteries-pv-trackers-and-equitable-access-to-solar/

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