California, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] Tioga Energy has completed US $20 million of an initial closing of its Series B financing round. Investors in this financing included MEMC Electronic Materials , NGEN Partners, Nth Power and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The investment will support Tioga’s growth and short-term financing needs for construction and development of solar projects.
“This financing round will provide the operating capital to rapidly grow our business and accelerate the development of our growing project pipeline,” said Paul Detering, CEO of Tioga Energy. “We are also pleased to have MEMC as both an investor and a partner in achieving our mutual business goals. As an established leader in the solar wafer industry, MEMC’s support will have a very positive impact on achieving our growth objectives.”
Tioga provides project financing through its SurePath Solar Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), and maintains and operates solar systems on behalf of its customers. A large part of the non-residential solar generation installed in the US over the last several years has been delivered through PPA contracts.
The PPA financing approach is forecast to grow considerably over the next 3-5 years driven by state-level regulatory requirements to develop renewable resources, the rising cost of electricity, and the falling price of solar equipment.
Industry analyst Gartner Inc. recently predicted that the PPA portion of the U.S. PV market will have a compound annual growth rate exceeding 100 percent through 2013 and that in 2013, IPP firms will install PV systems in the U.S. with an energy generation capacity of 2.9 gigawatts, at a cost of $8 billion.
This marks another step in MEMC’s quest to be part of the entire solar energy value chain. In October of this year, MEMC announced that it was planning to acquire SunEdison for US $200 million. The acquisition was completed at the end of November. The acquisition and this investment further illustrate a move toward a more vertically integrated solar business model for MEMC, which has historically been active only in the manufacturing space.