|NRG ENERGY, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 02/29/2016|
STP maintains required insurance coverage for liability claims arising from nuclear incidents pursuant to the Price-Anderson Act. Effective October 22, 2015, the current liability limit per incident is $13.5 billion, subject to change to account for the effects of inflation and the number of licensed reactors. An inflation adjustment must be made at least once every five years with the most recent adjustment effective September 10, 2013. Under the Price-Anderson Act, owners of nuclear power plants in the U.S. are required to purchase primary insurance limits of $375 million for each operating site. In addition, the Price-Anderson Act requires an additional layer of protection through mandatory participation in a retrospective rating plan for power reactors resulting in an additional $13.5 billion in funds available for public liability claims. The current maximum assessment per incident, per reactor, is approximately $127 million, taking into account a 5% adjustment for administrative fees, payable at approximately $19 million per year, per reactor. NRG would be responsible for 44% of the maximum assessment, or $8 million per year, per reactor, and a maximum of $112 million per incident. In addition, the U.S. Congress retains the ability to impose additional financial requirements on the nuclear industry to pay liability claims that exceed $13.5 billion for a single incident. The liabilities of the co-owners of STP with respect to the retrospective premium assessments for nuclear liability insurance are joint and several.
STP purchases insurance for property damage and site decontamination cleanup costs from Nuclear Electric Insurance Limited, or NEIL, an industry mutual insurance company, of which STP is a member. STP has purchased $2.75 billion in limits for nuclear events and $1.5 billion in limits for non-nuclear events, the maximum available from NEIL. The upper $1.25 billion in limits (excess of the first $1.5 billion in limits) is a single limit blanket policy shared with two Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors, which have no affiliation with the Company. This shared limit is not subject to automatic reinstatement in the event of a loss. The NEIL policy covers both nuclear and non-nuclear property damage events, and a NEIL companion policy provides Accidental Outage coverage for the co-owners of STP's lost revenue following a property damage event, at a weekly indemnity limit of $2.52 million per unit up to a maximum of $274.4 million nuclear and $183.5 million non-nuclear, and is subject to an eight-week waiting period. NRG also purchased an Accidental Outage policy from NEIL, which provides protection for lost revenue due to an insurable event. This coverage allows for reimbursement up to $1.98 million per week per unit up to a maximum of $215.6 million nuclear and $144 million non-nuclear, and is subject to an eight-week waiting period. Under the terms of the NEIL policies, member companies may be assessed up to ten times their annual premium if the NEIL Board of Directors determines their surplus has been depleted due to the payment of property losses at any of the licensed reactors in a single policy year. NEIL requires that its members maintain an investment grade credit rating or insure their annual retrospective obligation by providing a financial guarantee, letter of credit, deposit premium, or an insurance policy. NRG has purchased an insurance policy from NEIL to guarantee the Company's obligation; however this insurance will only respond to retrospective premium adjustments assessed within twenty-four months after the policy term, whereas NEIL's Board of Directors can make such an adjustment up to 6 years after the policy expires.
Ivanpah Energy Production Guarantee
The Company's PPAs with PG&E with respect to the Ivanpah project contain provisions for contract quantity and guaranteed energy production, which require that Ivanpah units 1 and 3 deliver to PG&E no less than the guaranteed energy production amount specified in the PPAs in any period of twenty-four consecutive months, or performance measurement period, during the term of the PPAs. If either of Ivanpah units 1 and 3 deliver less than the guaranteed energy production amount in any performance measurement period, PG&E may, at its option, declare an event of default. The two units did not meet their guaranteed energy production amount for the initial performance measurement period. On December 18, 2015, PG&E filed a request with the CPUC that it approve, no later than March 31, 2016, forbearance agreements relating to Ivanpah units 1 and 3. Under the forbearance agreements, PG&E agrees to refrain from taking certain actions (including declaring an event of default and invoking associated remedies) for an initial six-month period of time. If the units meet certain production requirements during such period, then the forbearance agreements provide for a six-month extension of such period. On January 15, 2016, three parties submitted protests to the forbearance agreements. On February 16, 2016, the CPUC issued a draft resolution recommending approval of the Forbearance Agreement. The CPUC will vote on the draft resolution no earlier than 30 days after its issuance.