|NRG ENERGY, INC. filed this Form 10-K on 03/01/2018|
Many states have adopted RPS programs mandating that a specified percentage of electricity sales come from eligible sources of renewable energy. However, the regulations that govern the RPS programs, including pricing incentives for renewable energy, or reasonableness guidelines for pricing that increase valuation compared to conventional power (such as a projected value for carbon reduction or consideration of avoided integration costs), may change. If the RPS requirements are reduced or eliminated, it could lead to fewer future power contracts or lead to lower prices for the sale of power in future power contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on the Company's future growth prospects.
Such material adverse effects may result from decreased revenues, reduced economic returns on certain project company investments, increased financing costs, and/or difficulty obtaining financing. Furthermore, the ARRA included incentives to encourage investment in the renewable energy sector, such as cash grants in lieu of ITCs, bonus depreciation and expansion of the U.S. DOE loan guarantee program. It is uncertain what loan guarantees may be made by the U.S. DOE loan guarantee program in the future. In addition, the cash grant in lieu of ITCs program only applies to facilities that commenced construction prior to December 31, 2011, which commencement date may be determined in accordance with the safe harbor if more than 5% of the total cost of the eligible property was paid or incurred by December 31, 2011.
If the Company is unable to utilize various federal, state and local government incentives to acquire additional renewable assets in the future, or the terms of such incentives are revised in a manner that is less favorable to the Company, it may suffer a material adverse effect on the business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
The integration of the Capacity Performance product into the PJM market and the Pay-for-Performance mechanism in ISO-NE could lead to substantial changes in capacity income and non-performance penalties, which could have a material adverse effect on NRG’s results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Both ISO-NE and PJM operate a pay-for-performance model where capacity payments are modified based on real-time generator performance. Capacity market prices are sensitive to design parameters, as well as additions of new capacity. NRG may experience substantial changes in capacity income and non-performance penalties, which could have a material adverse effect on NRG’s results of operations, financial condition and cash flows.
Certain of NRG's long-term bilateral contracts result from state-mandated procurements and could be declared invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction.
A significant portion of NRG’s revenues are derived from long-term bilateral contracts with utilities that are regulated by their respective states, and have been entered into pursuant to certain state programs. Certain long-term contracts that other companies have with state-regulated utilities have been challenged in federal court and have been declared unconstitutional on the grounds that the rate for energy and capacity established by the contracts impermissibly conflicts with the rate for energy and capacity established by FERC pursuant to the FPA. If certain of the Company's state-mandated agreements with utilities are ever held to be invalid, NRG may be unable to replace such contracts, which could have a material adverse effect on NRG's business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
NRG's ownership interest in a nuclear power facility subjects the Company to regulations, costs and liabilities uniquely associated with these types of facilities.
Under the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or AEA, ownership and operation of STP, of which NRG indirectly owns a 44% interest, is subject to regulation by the NRC. Such regulation includes licensing, inspection, enforcement, testing, evaluation and modification of all aspects of nuclear reactor power plant design and operation, environmental and safety performance, technical and financial qualifications, decommissioning funding assurance and transfer and foreign ownership restrictions. The current facility operating licenses for STP expire on August 20, 2047 (Unit 1) and December 15, 2048 (Unit 2).