|NRG ENERGY, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 02/29/2016|
Tax Equity Arrangements
NRG’s redeemable noncontrolling interest in subsidiaries and noncontrolling interest, included in interest, represents third-party interests in the net assets under certain tax equity arrangements, which are consolidated by the Company, that have been entered into to finance the cost of solar energy systems under operating leases and wind facilities eligible for certain tax credits. The Company has determined that the provisions in the contractual agreements of these structures represent substantive profit sharing arrangements. Further, the Company has determined that the appropriate methodology for calculating the noncontrolling interest and redeemable noncontrolling interest that reflects the substantive profit sharing arrangements is a balance sheet approach utilizing the hypothetical liquidation at book value, or HLBV, method. Under the HLBV method, the amounts reported as noncontrolling interest and redeemable noncontrolling interests represent the amounts the investors that are party to the tax equity arrangements would hypothetically receive at each balance sheet date under the liquidation provisions of the contractual agreements, assuming the net assets of the funding structures were liquidated at their recorded amounts determined in accordance with GAAP. The investors’ interests in the results of operations of the funding structures are determined as the difference in noncontrolling interest and redeemable noncontrolling interests at the start and end of each reporting period, after taking into account any capital transactions between the structures and the funds’ investors. The calculations utilized to apply the HLBV method include estimated calculations of taxable income or losses for each reporting period.
Redeemable Noncontrolling Interest
To the extent that the third-party has the right to redeem their interests for cash or other assets, NRG has included the noncontrolling interest attributable to the third party as a component of temporary equity in the mezzanine section of the consolidated balance sheet. The following table reflects the changes in the Company's redeemable noncontrolling interest balance for the years ended December 31, 2015, and 2014.
Sale Leaseback Arrangements
NRG is party to sale-leaseback arrangements that provide for the sale of certain assets to a third party and simultaneous leaseback to the Company. In accordance with ASC 840-40, Sale-Leaseback Transactions, if the seller-lessee retains, through the leaseback, substantially all of the benefits and risks incident to the ownership of the property sold, the sale-leaseback transaction is accounted for as a financing arrangement. An example of this type of continuing involvement would include an option to repurchase the assets or the buyer-lessor having the option to sell the assets back to the Company. This provision is included in most of the Company’s sale-leaseback arrangements. As such, the Company accounts for these arrangements as financings.
Under the financing method, the Company does not recognize as income any of the sale proceeds received from the lessor that contractually constitutes payment to acquire the assets subject to these arrangements. Instead, the sale proceeds received are accounted for as financing obligations and leaseback payments made by the Company are allocated between interest expense and a reduction to the financing obligation. Interest on the financing obligation is calculated using the Company’s incremental borrowing rate at the inception of the arrangement on the outstanding financing obligation. Judgment is required to determine the appropriate borrowing rate for the arrangement and in determining any gain or loss on the transaction that would be recorded either at the end of or over the lease term.