Solar co. Solyndra shines with $220M

Solar installation maker Solyndra has every reason to celebrate the new year, raising $219.2 million in fifth-round funding from a flock of 23 investors. This is the second largest investment received by any U.S. cleantech company in the last year, coming in behind the $300 million bagged by competitor Nanosolar. The amount breaks down into $96.6 million in working capital and $122.2 million in convertible promissory notes.

The Fremont, Calif. company has not disclosed its plans for the financing, nor whether it is included in the $600 million in capital it said it had lined up back in October. Its investors include Virgin Green Fund, Rockport Capital, Argonaut Ventures, RedPoint Ventures, CMEA Ventures, US Venture Partners, Madrone Capital (operated by Wal-Mart Chairman Rob Walton) and the Masdar Clean Tech Fund.

This money could make up the bulk of a larger, $350 million goal for the round, according to GreenTechMedia. Solyndra is particularly attractive because it already has $1.2 billion in contracts for its copper indium gallium and selenide (CIGS) solar panels through 2012. Its peers, Miasole and SoloPower, both took $200 million in venture backing in the latter part of the year.

Overall, 2008 was a record year for cleantech investment, totaling $7.7 billion over 350 rounds of financing. This is more than double the sum given out in 2007.