Good Energies leads NOK1.15bn solar funding round

Norwegian solar energy firm NorSun has raised NOK1.15bn in Series C funding for the expansion of its silicon ingot production lines. The financing was led by Swiss clean energy investor Good Energies which invested NOK250m.

Swiss renewable energy investor Good Energies has led a NOK1.15 billion (€125 million; $160 million) Series C funding round for Nordic solar energy firm NorSun.

Around NOK500 million in equity was committed, along with more than NOK650 million in debt provided by Scandinavian banks DnB NOR and Nordea Bank. Good Energies provided half the equity commitment, while the balance came from Norwegian aluminium firm Norsk Hydro, which committed NOK92 million, as well as Nordic investment firm Scatec and all major share holders.

The financing will be used to increase NorSun’s annual production of monocrystalline silicon ingots. The ingots are sliced into thin wafers and installed in solar cell modules to produce electricity from solar energy. The firm, which operates in Norway and Finland, hopes to be able to produce more than 200 megawatts by 2009.

The firm raised NOK 650 million in a Series A equity round in December 2006 and further NOK 800 million in new equity in February 2008.

The investment will also contribute to Sunfilm, a joint venture between NorSun and Good Energies established in 2007, which manufactures the world’s first 5.7m squared tandem thin film photovoltaic modules on glass substrates, the firm said.

In January Good Energies promoted solar-focused William Nesbitt to managing director in the firm’s New York office. Recent transactions by Good Energies include participation in the $140 million second round of financing for Solar Reserve, a California-based developer of utility-scale solar power plants, in September 2008. Good Energies-backed Continental Wind Partners last summer sold two Romanian wind farm developments to Czech-owned power utility CEZ Group for €1.1 billion.

Last March NorSun was involved in another private equity-backed project, taking a 50 percent stake in the construction of a polysilicon plant in the industrial city of Jubail in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The project received backing from Swicorp Joussour.