SEC Filings

10-K
NRG ENERGY, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 02/29/2016
Entire Document
 
                

Item 1A — Risk Factors Related to NRG Energy, Inc.
Risks Related to the Operation of NRG's Business
NRG's financial performance may be impacted by price fluctuations in the wholesale power and natural gas, coal and oil markets and other market factors that are beyond the Company's control.
Market prices for power, generation capacity, ancillary services, natural gas, coal and oil are unpredictable and tend to fluctuate substantially. Unlike most other commodities, electric power can only be stored on a very limited basis and generally must be produced concurrently with its use. As a result, power prices are subject to significant volatility due to supply and demand imbalances, especially in the day-ahead and spot markets. Long- and short-term power prices may also fluctuate substantially due to other factors outside of the Company's control, including:
changes in generation capacity in the Company's markets, including the addition of new supplies of power from existing competitors or new market entrants as a result of the development of new generation plants, expansion of existing plants or additional transmission capacity;
environmental regulations and legislation;
electric supply disruptions, including plant outages and transmission disruptions;
changes in power transmission infrastructure;
fuel transportation capacity constraints or inefficiencies;
weather conditions, including extreme weather conditions and seasonal fluctuations, including the affects of climate change;
changes in commodity prices and the supply of commodities, including but not limited to natural gas, coal and oil;
changes in the demand for power or in patterns of power usage, including the potential development of demand-side management tools and practices, distributed generation, and more efficient end-use technologies;
development of new fuels and new technologies for the production of power;
fuel price volatility;
economic and political conditions;
regulations and actions of the ISOs and RTOs;
federal and state power regulations and legislation;
changes in law, including judicial decisions;
changes in prices related to RECs; and
changes in capacity prices and capacity markets.
Such factors and the associated fluctuations in power prices have affected the Company's wholesale power operating results in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
Many of NRG's power generation facilities operate, wholly or partially, without long-term power sale agreements.
Many of NRG's facilities operate as "merchant" facilities without long-term power sales agreements for some or all of their generating capacity and output and therefore are exposed to market fluctuations. Without the benefit of long-term power sales agreements for these assets, NRG cannot be sure that it will be able to sell any or all of the power generated by these facilities at commercially attractive rates or that these facilities will be able to operate profitably. This could lead to future impairments of the Company's property, plant and equipment or to the closing of certain of its facilities, resulting in economic losses and liabilities, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
NRG's costs, results of operations, financial condition and cash flows could be adversely impacted by disruption of its fuel supplies.
NRG relies on natural gas, coal and oil to fuel a majority of its power generation facilities. Delivery of these fuels to the facilities is dependent upon the continuing financial viability of contractual counterparties as well as upon the infrastructure (including rail lines, rail cars, barge facilities, roadways, riverways and natural gas pipelines) available to serve each generation facility. As a result, the Company is subject to the risks of disruptions or curtailments in the production of power at its generation facilities if no fuel is available at any price or if a counterparty fails to perform or if there is a disruption in the fuel delivery infrastructure.

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