In 2011, venture capital (VC) funding for wind energy continued to increase past previous years, totaling $369 million in 14 deals, compared to $277 million in 11 deals in 2010, and $198 million in 20 deals in 2009. Wind power start-up ReNew Wind Power’s $202 million raise was the top VC funding deal. Boulder Wind Power and Wind Energy Direct were second and third highest, with $35 and $29 million raised respectively.
Project-specific funding also was higher than previous years, reaching nearly $11 billion–$2 billion more than in 2010. Offshore wind projects represented $3.4 billion in five deals. Onshore wind raised $7.5 billion in 46 deals. The top wind farm project in 2011 was the 400 megawatt (MW) Global Tech I offshore wind farm project in Germany, which raised $1.5 billion. Other top project deals were WindMW Meerwind’s 288MW wind farm, which raised $1.2 billion, and the 277MW Canadian wind farm being developed by Boralex Inc. Gaz Metro and Valener’s Selgneurie de Beaupre, which raised $713 million.
The United States saw the most VC funding deals in terms of companies ($294.7 million in nine deals) and projects ($2.9 billion in 19 deals). Germany was a close second in investment with $2.8 billion in large-scale project funding, followed by Canada with $1.1 billion. The most active project investor was the European Investment Bank, which was involved in eight transactions. The International Finance Corporation had seven transactions, and four other investors had four transactions each.
Debt funding was dominated by China, which accounted for $6.8 billion of the $11.2 billion announced in 2011. Denmark and Spain announced $1.9 billion and $1.7 billion in debt respectively. The United States was fifth overall with $201 million. The single largest deal was the $5 billion credit facility issued to Guandong Ming Yang Wind Power Industry Group Co. by the China Development bank.
M&A activity amounted to $1.7 billion in 17 deals, the largest being the $724 million acquisition of wind gear maker Hansen Transmissions, a subsidiary of Suzlon, by ZF Friedrichshafen AG. The $596 million acquisition of Brazilian wind power operator Jantus by CPFL Energia was the second biggest deal of 2011. Wind component companies accounted for $1.1 billion and wind downstream companies for $700 million of 2011 M&A activity.
There was significant activity also in wind project M&As with $4 billion transacted in 61 deals. Top deals were the acquisition of 50 percent of Dong Energy’s Anhold offshore wind farm by a consortium of Pension Danmark and PKA for $1.1 billion, and the acquisition of 11 wind farms from Auxiliar de Construccion y Servicios by Bridgepoint for $850 million.
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