Private equity firms invest $160m in solar

Venture firms Globespan Capital Partners, Dry Creek Ventures, Silicon Valley Technology Group as well as private equity firm Energy Investors Funds have committed a combination of equity and debt financing to Solar Power Partners. The round brings the company's 2008 fundraising total to $100m.

Solar Power Partners has raised approximately $100 million (€71.2 million) in financing in 2008 and is close to securing an additional $60 million from investors including several private equity and venture firms.

The San Francisco-based company includes among its “leading and larger investors” information technology- and cleantech-focused venture firm Globespan Capital Partners and power-focused private equity firm Energy Investors Funds, Solar Power Partners' president Alexander Welczeck told PEO.

Solar Power Partners' additional investors and lenders include: US bank United Commercial Bank, US non-profit The Enlightened World Foundation, US asset management firm Carrelton Asset Management and Silicon Valley-based venture firms Dry Creek Ventures and Silicon Valley Technology Group.

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The $100 million is made up of equity and debt and is “a combinations of equity financings into SPP Inc as well as project financing for our solar funds”, Welczeck said.

Welczeck declined to disclose the break-down between equity and debt.

An additional $60 million in project financing from within the same investor group is “fully committed and in the process of closing”, Welczeck said.

Solar Power Partners develops, owns and operates distributed solar energy facilities and sells solar-generated electricity through long-term energy financing agreements in the continental US and Hawaii.
The company also offers project financing for financial institutions and other corporate investors to invest in the solar sector through equity or debt. The company typically combines multiple solar energy facilities into a single, diversified investment partnership.

The capital will be used for corporate expansion within the US, project development and equity participation in Solar Power Partners’ solar energy funds.

The date, Solar Power Partners has completed 19 commercial solar energy facilities. The company has completed one fund which includes 16 solar facilities. The second fund is in the process of closing and includes 20 solar facilities. The company has begun assembling the third fund which will also include approximately 20 facilities.