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Funding activity in the wind energy sector reached $5.6bn in the third quarter of the year, thanks to “capital markets thawing and the renewable energy industry maturing”, according to new data.

The total figure in the analysis – which was compiled by consulting firm Mercom Capital – includes venture capital funding and other equity financings, debt financings and announced project deals.

According to the report, wind venture capital funding dropped slightly to $135m in Q3 compared to $wind energy finance210m in Q2.

The largest venture capital deal in Q3 was by Mainstream Renewable Power, an independent project developer that raised $133m from Marubeni Corporation.

Other headline equity financing deals in the quarter were Brazilian utility Cemig’s $621m investment in project developer Renova Energia and $52m raised by wind developer Rabbalshede Kraft. 

The total of announced large-scale project funding in the quarter was $3.7bn in 28 deals, compared with $3.2bn in 24 deals in Q2 of 2013.

Raj Prabhu, chief executive of Mercom Capital, said: “With the capital markets thawing and renewable energy industry maturing – especially wind and solar – we  are seeing more IPO activity.”

There were three key initial public offerings in the quarter, one each in the US (Pattern Energy), Canada (TransAlta Renewables) and Brazil (CPFL Renovaveis), resulting in almost $1bn being raised.

There were also 14 merger and acquisition transactions, with the top deal being private-equity firm Actis acquiring 60 per cent of Atlantic Energias Renovaveis, a Brazilian renewable energy company, for $169m.

Other M&A deals included Canadian company Capstone Infrastructure buying Renewable Energy Developers for $70m, Poly LongMa Energy, a Chinese green energy conglomerate, acquiring a 75 per cent stake in Suzlon Energy’s China-based manufacturing subsidiary Suzlon Energy Tianjin, for $28m, and Italian wind developer ERG taking a 100 per cent stake in Maluni for $13.2m.

The largest project acquisition by amount in the quarter was by Greencoat UK Wind, which bought a portfolio of wind projects from BayWa for $113m.

The next biggest project acquisition was by US investment management firm BlackRock, which bought a 12 MW wind project in the UK from Renewable Energy Generation for $39m.