Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2020
|Accounting Policies [Abstract]|
|Summary of Significant Accounting Policies||Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
Basis of Presentation and Principles of Consolidation
The accompanying unaudited consolidated financial statements have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) and applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") regarding interim financial reporting. Certain information and note disclosures normally included in the financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP have been condensed or omitted pursuant to such rules and regulations. As such, these unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes included in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Beginning in the quarter ended March 31, 2020, a strain of coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread throughout the world, and at this point, the extent to which the coronavirus may impact operations of the Company is uncertain. The extent of the impact of the coronavirus on the Company's business and operations will depend on several factors, such as the duration, severity, and geographic spread of the outbreak. The Company is monitoring the evolving situation closely and evaluating its potential exposure. The results of the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020 or other future periods, particularly in light of the uncertain impact COVID-19 could have on the Company's business.
The consolidated financial statements reflect the accounts and operations of the Company and those of its subsidiaries, including Funds, in which the Company has a controlling financial interest. The typical condition for a controlling financial interest ownership is holding a majority of the voting interests of an entity. However, a controlling financial interest may also exist in entities, such as variable interest entities (“VIEs”), through arrangements that do not involve controlling voting interests. In accordance with the provisions of Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Accounting Standards Codification Topic 810 (“ASC 810”) Consolidation, the Company consolidates any VIE of which it is the primary beneficiary. The primary beneficiary, as defined in ASC 810, is the party that has (1) the power to direct the activities of a VIE that most significantly impact the VIE’s economic performance and (2) the obligation to absorb the losses of the VIE or the right to receive benefits from the VIE that could potentially be significant to the VIE. The Company evaluates its relationships with its VIEs on an ongoing basis to determine whether it continues to be the primary beneficiary. The consolidated financial statements reflect the assets and liabilities of VIEs that are consolidated. All intercompany transactions and balances have been eliminated in consolidation.
Use of Estimates
The preparation of the consolidated financial statements requires management to make estimates and assumptions that affect the amounts reported in the consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes. The Company regularly makes estimates and assumptions, including, but not limited to, revenue recognition constraints that result in variable consideration, the discount rate used to adjust the promised amount of consideration for the effects of a significant financing component, the estimates that affect the collectability of accounts receivable, the valuation of inventories, the useful lives of solar energy systems, the useful lives of property and equipment, the valuation and useful lives of intangible assets, the effective interest rate used to amortize pass-through financing obligations, the discount rate uses for operating and financing leases, the fair value of contingent consideration, the valuation of stock-based compensation, the determination of valuation allowances associated with deferred tax assets, the fair value of debt instruments disclosed and the redemption value of redeemable noncontrolling interests. The Company bases its estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions believed to be reasonable. In light of the uncertain impact COVID-19 could have on the Company's business, the Company's estimates may change in the future. Actual results may differ from such estimates.
The Company has one operating segment with one business activity, providing solar energy services and products to customers. The Company’s chief operating decision maker (“CODM”) is its Chief Executive Officer, who manages operations on a consolidated basis for purposes of allocating resources. When evaluating performance and allocating resources, the CODM reviews financial information presented on a consolidated basis.
Revenue from external customers for each group of similar products and services is as follows (in thousands):
Revenue from Customer Agreements includes payments by customers for the use of the system as well as utility and other rebates assigned by the customer to the Company in the Customer Agreement. Revenue from incentives includes revenue from the sale of commercial investment tax credits ("Commercial ITCs") and solar renewable energy credits (“SRECs”).
Cash and Restricted Cash
Restricted cash represents amounts related to obligations under certain financing transactions and future replacement of solar energy system components.
The following table provides a reconciliation of cash and restricted cash reported within the consolidated balance sheets that sum to the total of the same such amounts shown in the consolidated statement of cash flows. Cash and restricted cash consists of the following (in thousands):
Accounts receivable consist of amounts due from customers, as well as state and utility rebates due from government agencies and utility companies. Under Customer Agreements, the customers typically assign incentive rebates to the Company.
The opening balance of Accounts receivable, net was $66.4 million as of December 31, 2018. Accounts receivable, net, consists of the following (in thousands):
When the Company receives consideration, or when such consideration is unconditionally due, from a customer prior to delivering goods or services to the customer under the terms of a Customer Agreement, the Company records deferred revenue. Such deferred revenue consists of amounts for which the criteria for revenue recognition have not yet been met and includes amounts that are collected or assigned from customers, including upfront deposits and prepayments, and rebates. Deferred revenue relating to financing components represents the cumulative excess of interest expense recorded on financing component elements over the related revenue recognized to date and will eventually net to zero by the end of the initial term. Amounts received related to the sales of SRECs which have not yet been delivered to the counterparty are recorded as deferred revenue.
The opening balance of deferred revenue was $591.6 million as of December 31, 2018. Deferred revenue consists of the following (in thousands):
In the three months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, the Company recognized revenue of $22.5 million and $15.1 million, respectively, and in the nine months ended September 30, 2020 and 2019, the Company recognized revenue of $60.2 million and $44.6 million, respectively, from amounts included in deferred revenue at the beginning of the respective periods. Revenue allocated to remaining performance obligations represents contracted revenue that has not yet been recognized and includes deferred revenue as well as amounts that will be invoiced and recognized as revenue in future periods. Contracted but not yet recognized revenue was approximately $7.4 million as of September 30, 2020, of which the Company expects to recognize approximately 6% over the next 12 months. The annual recognition is not expected to vary significantly over the next 10 years as the vast majority of existing Customer Agreements have at least 10 years remaining, given that the average age of the Company's fleet of residential solar energy systems under Customer Agreements is less than four years due to the Company being formed in 2007 and having experienced significant growth in the last few years. The annual recognition on these existing contracts will gradually decline over the midpoint of the Customer Agreements over the following 10 years as the typical 20- or 25-year initial term expires on individual Customer Agreements.
Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The Company defines fair value as the exchange price that would be received for an asset or an exit price that would be paid to transfer a liability in the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability in an orderly transaction between market participants on the measurement date. The Company uses valuation approaches to measure fair value that maximize the use of observable inputs and minimize the use of unobservable inputs. The FASB establishes a three-tier fair value hierarchy for disclosure of fair value measurements as follows:
•Level 1—Inputs are unadjusted, quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities at the measurement date;
•Level 2—Inputs are observable, unadjusted quoted prices in active markets for similar assets or liabilities, unadjusted quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active, or other inputs that are observable or can be corroborated by observable market data for substantially the full term of the related assets or liabilities; and
•Level 3—Inputs that are unobservable, significant to the measurement of the fair value of the assets or liabilities and are supported by little or no market data.
The Company's financial instruments include cash, receivables, accounts payable, accrued expenses, distributions payable to noncontrolling interests, derivatives, contingent consideration, and recourse and non-recourse debt.
The Company recognizes revenue when control of goods or services is transferred to its customers, in an amount that reflects the consideration it expected to be entitled to in exchange for those goods or services.
Customer agreements and incentives
Customer agreements and incentives revenue is primarily comprised of revenue from Customer Agreements in which the Company provides continuous access to a functioning solar system and revenue from the sales of SRECs generated by the Company’s solar energy systems to third parties.
The Company begins to recognize revenue on Customer Agreements when permission to operate ("PTO") is given by the local utility company or on the date daily operation commences if utility approval is not required. Revenue recognition does not necessarily follow the receipt of cash. The Company recognizes revenue evenly over the time that it satisfies its performance obligations over the initial term of the Customer Agreements. Customer Agreements typically have an initial term of 20 or 25 years. After the initial contract term, the Company's Customer Agreements typically automatically renew on an annual basis and the rate is initially set at up to a 10% discount to then-prevailing power prices.
SREC revenue arises from the sale of environmental credits generated by solar energy systems and is generally recognized upon delivery of the SRECs to the counterparty. For pass-through financing obligation Funds, the value attributable to the monetization of Commercial ITCs is recognized in the period a solar system is granted PTO - see Note 10, Pass-through Financing Obligations.
In determining the transaction price, the Company adjusts the promised amount of consideration for the effects of the time value of money when the timing of payments provides it with a significant benefit of financing the transfer of goods or services to the customer. In those circumstances, the contract contains a significant financing component. When adjusting the promised amount of consideration for a significant financing component, the Company uses the discount rate that would be reflected in a separate financing transaction between the entity and its customer at contract inception and recognizes the revenue amount on a straight-line basis over the term of the Customer Agreement, and interest expense using the effective interest rate method.
Consideration from customers is considered variable due to the performance guarantee under Customer Agreements and liquidating damage provisions under SREC contracts in the event minimum deliveries are not achieved. Performance guarantees provide a credit to the customer if the system's cumulative production, as measured on various PTO anniversary dates, is below the Company's guarantee of a specified minimum. Revenue is recognized to the extent it is probable that a significant reversal of such revenue will not occur.
The Company capitalizes incremental costs incurred to obtain a contract in Other Assets in the consolidated balance sheets. These amounts are amortized on a straight-line basis over the term of the Customer Agreements, and are included in Sales and marketing in the consolidated statements of operations.
Solar energy systems and product sales
For solar energy systems sold to customers, the Company recognizes revenue when the solar energy system passes inspection by the authority having jurisdiction. The Company’s installation projects are typically completed in less than 12 months.
Product sales consist of solar panels, racking systems, inverters, other solar energy products sold to resellers and customer leads. Product sales revenue is recognized at the time when control is transferred, upon shipment. Customer lead revenue, included in product sales, is recognized at the time the lead is delivered.
Taxes assessed by government authorities that are directly imposed on revenue producing transactions are excluded from solar energy systems and product sales.
Cost of Revenue
Customer agreements and incentives
Cost of revenue for customer agreements and incentives is primarily comprised of (1) the depreciation of the cost of the solar energy systems, as reduced by amortization of deferred grants, (2) solar energy system operations, monitoring and maintenance costs including associated personnel costs, and (3) allocated corporate overhead costs.
Solar energy systems and product sales
Cost of revenue for solar energy systems and non-lead generation product sales consist of direct and indirect material and labor costs for solar energy systems installations and product sales. Also included are engineering and design costs, estimated warranty costs, freight costs, allocated corporate overhead costs, vehicle depreciation costs and personnel costs associated with supply chain, logistics, operations management, safety and quality control. Cost of revenue for lead generations consists of costs related to direct-response advertising activities associated with generating customer leads.
Recently Issued and Adopted Accounting Standards
Accounting standards adopted January 1, 2019:
In February 2018, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update ("ASU") No. 2018-02, Income Statement—Reporting Comprehensive Income (Topic 220): Reclassification of Certain Tax Effects from Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income, which allows companies to reclassify stranded tax effects resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act from accumulated other comprehensive income to retained earnings. The Company adopted ASU No. 2018-02 effective January 1, 2019, which resulted in an adjustment of $0.7 million for the reclassification, as reflected in its consolidated statement of redeemable noncontrolling interests and equity. The Company uses the aggregate portfolio approach when reclassifying stranded tax effects from accumulated other comprehensive income.
Accounting standards adopted January 1, 2020:
In June 2016, the FASB issued ASU No. 2016-13, Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments, which replaces the current incurred loss impairment methodology with a current expected credit losses model. The amendment applies to entities that hold financial assets and net investment in leases that are not accounted for at fair value through net income as well as loans, debt securities, trade receivables, net investments in leases, off-balance sheet credit exposures, reinsurance receivables and any other financial assets not excluded from the scope that have the contractual right to receive cash. The Company adopted ASU No. 2016-13 effective January 1, 2020, using a modified retrospective transition method, which resulted in a cumulative-effect adjustment of $1.2 million for the establishment of a credit loss allowance for unbilled receivables related to Customer Agreements, as reflected in its consolidated statement of redeemable noncontrolling interests and stockholders' equity.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-13, Fair Value Measurement (Topic 820): Disclosure Framework—Changes to the Disclosure Requirements for Fair Value Measurement, which modifies the disclosure requirements on fair value measurements as part of its disclosure framework project. Under this amendment, entities will no longer be required to disclose the amount of and reasons for transfers between Level 1 and Level 2 of the fair value hierarchy. However, for Level 3 fair value measurements, disclosures around the range and weighted average used to develop significant unobservable inputs will be required. The Company adopted ASU No. 2018-13 effective January 1, 2020, and there was no impact to its consolidated financial statements.
In August 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-15, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other—Internal-Use Software (Subtopic 350-40): Customer’s Accounting for Implementation Costs Incurred in a Cloud Computing Arrangement That Is a Service Contract, which requires a customer in a cloud computing arrangement that is a service contract to follow the internal-use software guidance in Topic 350, Intangibles—Goodwill and Other, to determine which implementation costs to capitalize as assets or expense as incurred. This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2019, and can be applied either prospectively to implementation costs incurred after the date of adoption or retrospectively to all arrangements. The Company prospectively adopted ASU No. 2018-15 effective January 1, 2020, and there was no adoption date impact to its consolidated financial statements.
In October 2018, the FASB issued ASU No. 2018-17, Consolidation (Topic 810), Targeted Improvements to Related Party Guidance for Variable Interest Entities, which aligns the evaluation of decision-making fees under the variable interest entity guidance. Under this new guidance, in order to determine whether decision-making fees represent a variable interest, an entity considers indirect interests held through related parties under common control on a proportionate basis. This ASU is effective for annual reporting periods, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2019, and must be applied retrospectively with a cumulative-effect adjustment to retained earnings at the beginning of the earliest period presented. The Company adopted ASU No. 2018-17 effective January 1, 2020, and there was no impact to its consolidated financial statements.
Accounting standards to be adopted:
In November 2019, the FASB issued ASU No. 2019-12, Income Taxes (Topic 740), which simplifies the accounting for income taxes, primarily by eliminating certain exceptions to the guidance in ASC 740. This ASU is effective for fiscal periods beginning after December 15, 2020. The Company is currently evaluating this guidance and the impact it may have on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
In March 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-04, Reference Rate Reform (Topic 848), Facilitation of the Effects of Reference Rate Reform on Financial Reporting, which provides optional expedients and exceptions for applying GAAP to contracts, hedging relationships, and other transactions affected by reference rate reform if certain criteria are met. The amendments apply only to contracts, hedging relationships, and other transactions that reference LIBOR or other reference rates that are expected to be discontinued because of reference rate reform. This ASU is available for adoption as of the beginning of the interim period that includes March 12, 2020 through December 31, 2022, as contract modifications or hedging relationships entered into or evaluated after December 31, 2022 are excluded unless an entity has elected certain optional expedients for and that are retained through the end of the hedging relationship. For the Company’s cash flow hedges in which the designated hedged risk is LIBOR or another rate that is expected to be discontinued, the Company has adopted the portion of the guidance that allows it to assert that it remains probable that the hedged forecasted transaction will occur. The Company is currently evaluating the remainder of this guidance and the impact it may have on the Company's consolidated financial statements.
In August 2020, the FASB issued ASU No. 2020-06, Debt—Debt with Conversion and Other Options (Subtopic 470-20) and Derivatives and Hedging—Contracts in Entity's Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40), simplifies the accounting for convertible instruments and the application of the derivatives scope exception for contracts in an entity’s own equity. This ASU is effective for fiscal periods beginning after December 15, 2021. The Company is currently evaluating this guidance and the impact it may have on the Company’s consolidated financial statements.
The entire disclosure for all significant accounting policies of the reporting entity.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef