|NRG ENERGY, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/01/2018|
The Company may potentially be affected by emerging technologies that may over time affect change in capacity markets and the energy industry overall with the inclusion of distributed generation and clean technology.
Some emerging technologies like distributed renewable energy technologies, broad consumer adoption of electric vehicles and energy storage devices could affect the price of energy. These emerging technologies may affect the financial viability of utility counterparties and could have significant impacts on wholesale market prices, which could ultimately have a material adverse effect on NRG's financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Risks that are beyond NRG's control, including but not limited to acts of terrorism or related acts of war, natural disaster, hostile cyber intrusions or other catastrophic events could have a material adverse effect on NRG's financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
NRG's generation facilities and the facilities of third parties on which they rely may be targets of terrorist activities, as well as events occurring in response to or in connection with them, that could cause environmental repercussions and/or result in full or partial disruption of the facilities ability to generate, transmit, transport or distribute electricity or natural gas. Strategic targets, such as energy-related facilities, may be at greater risk of future terrorist activities than other domestic targets. Hostile cyber intrusions, including those targeting information systems as well as electronic control systems used at the generating plants and for the distribution systems, could severely disrupt business operations and result in loss of service to customers, as well as significant expense to repair security breaches or system damage. Any such environmental repercussions or disruption could result in a significant decrease in revenues or significant reconstruction or remediation costs, beyond what could be recovered through insurance policies which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. In addition, significant weather events or terrorist actions could damage or shut down the power transmission and distribution facilities upon which the Company's retail businesses are dependent. Power supply may be sold at a loss if these events cause a significant loss of retail customer load.
The operation of NRG’s businesses is subject to cyber-based security and integrity risk.
Numerous functions affecting the efficient operation of NRG’s businesses depend on the secure and reliable storage, processing and communication of electronic data and the use of sophisticated computer hardware and software systems. The operation of NRG’s generation plants, including STP, and of NRG's energy and fuel trading businesses rely on cyber-based technologies and, therefore, subject to the risk that such systems could be the target of disruptive actions, particularly through cyber-attack or cyber intrusion, including by computer hackers, foreign governments and cyber terrorists, or otherwise be compromised by unintentional events. As a result, operations could be interrupted, property could be damaged and sensitive customer information could be lost or stolen, causing NRG to incur significant losses of revenues, other substantial liabilities and damages, costs to replace or repair damaged equipment and damage to NRG's reputation. In addition, NRG may experience increased capital and operating costs to implement increased security for its cyber systems and plants.
The Company's retail businesses are subject to the risk that sensitive customer data may be compromised, which could result in an adverse impact to its reputation and/or the results of operations of the Company's retail businesses.
The Company's retail businesses require access to sensitive customer data in the ordinary course of business. Examples of sensitive customer data are names, addresses, account information, historical electricity usage, expected patterns of use, payment history, credit bureau data, credit and debit card account numbers, driver's license numbers, social security numbers and bank account information. NRG's retail businesses may need to provide sensitive customer data to vendors and service providers, who require access to this information in order to provide services, such as call center operations, to NRG's retail businesses. If a significant breach occurred, the reputation of NRG and its retail businesses may be adversely affected, customer confidence may be diminished, or NRG and its retail businesses may be subject to legal claims, any of which may contribute to the loss of customers and have a negative impact on the business and/or results of operations.
Risks Related to Governmental Regulation and Laws
NRG's business is subject to substantial energy regulation and may be adversely affected by legislative or regulatory changes, as well as liability under, or any future inability to comply with, existing or future energy regulations or requirements.
NRG's business is subject to extensive U.S. federal, state and local laws and foreign laws. Compliance with the requirements under these legal and regulatory regimes may cause the Company to incur significant additional costs, and failure to comply with such requirements could result in the shutdown of a non-complying facility, the imposition of liens, fines, and/or civil or criminal liability.