Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2022
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, 2021. The results of the three and nine months ended September 30, 2022 are not necessarily indicative of the results to be expected for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2022 or other future periods.

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.
Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to current period presentation.
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 fair value of investments in equity securities, the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed in a business combination, 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. Actual results may differ from such estimates.
Segment Information
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 (including, but not limited to homeowners) for each group of similar products and services is as follows (in thousands):
Three Months Ended September 30, Nine Months Ended September 30,
2022 2021 2022 2021
Customer agreements $ 234,219  $ 194,924  $ 656,724  $ 549,689 
Incentives 36,992  36,945  84,065  76,250 
Customer agreements and incentives 271,211  231,869  740,789  625,939 
Solar energy systems 241,697  127,936  651,010  307,408 
Products 118,998  78,960  320,471  241,378 
Solar energy systems and product sales 360,695  206,896  971,481  548,786 
Total revenue $ 631,906  $ 438,765  $ 1,712,270  $ 1,174,725 

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):
Nine Months Ended September 30,
    2022 2021
Beginning of period:
   Cash $ 617,634  $ 519,965 
   Restricted cash, current and long-term 232,797  188,243 
Total $ 850,431  $ 708,208 
End of period:
   Cash $ 672,083  $ 717,593 
   Restricted cash, current and long-term 283,970  223,528 
Total $ 956,053  $ 941,121 
Accounts Receivable
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.
Accounts receivable, net, consists of the following (in thousands):
    September 30, 2022   December 31, 2021
Customer receivables $ 221,803  $ 147,371 
Other receivables 9,486  9,701 
Allowance for credit losses (12,452) (11,035)
Total $ 218,837  $ 146,037 
Goodwill represents the excess of the purchase price over the fair value of assets acquired and liabilities assumed. Goodwill is reviewed for impairment at least annually or whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount may be impaired. The Company has determined that it operates as one reporting unit and the Company’s goodwill is recorded at the enterprise level. The Company performs its annual impairment test of goodwill on October 1 of each fiscal year or whenever events or circumstances change or occur that would indicate that goodwill might be impaired. When assessing goodwill for impairment, the Company uses qualitative and if necessary, quantitative methods in accordance with FASB ASC Topic 350, Goodwill. The Company also considers its enterprise value and if necessary, discounted cash flow model, which involves assumptions and estimates, including the Company’s future financial performance, weighted average cost of capital and interpretation of currently enacted tax laws.
Circumstances that could indicate impairment and require the Company to perform a quantitative impairment test include significant declines in the Company’s financial results or enterprise value relative to its net book value or a sustained decline in the Company's stock price below its book value, coupled with declines in valuations for comparable public companies or acquisition valuations. As of October 1, 2022, the Company concluded that the fair value of the Company exceeded its carrying value. Since December 31, 2021, the trading price of the Company’s common stock has generally declined. A sustained decrease in the Company’s stock price is one of the qualitative factors to be considered as part of an impairment test when evaluating whether events or changes in circumstances may indicate that it is more likely than not that a potential goodwill impairment exists. The Company will continue monitoring the analysis of the qualitative and quantitative factors used as a basis for the goodwill impairment test during fiscal year 2022.
Deferred Revenue
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 $799.3 million as of December 31, 2020. Deferred revenue consists of the following (in thousands):
  September 30, 2022 December 31, 2021
Under Customer Agreements:
Payments received, net $ 751,090  $ 645,439 
Financing component balance 63,630  58,517 
814,720  703,956 
Under SREC contracts:
Payments received, net 182,558  161,575 
Financing component balance 9,707  8,080 
192,265  169,655 
Total $ 1,006,985  $ 873,611 

During the three months ended September 30, 2022 and 2021, the Company recognized revenue of $27.5 million and $24.6 million, respectively, and in the nine months ended September 30, 2022 and 2021, the Company recognized revenue of $73.4 million and $67.1 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 $17.9 billion as of September 30, 2022, of which the Company expects to recognize approximately 5% 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 five 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.
Revenue Recognition
The Company recognizes revenue when control of goods or services is transferred to its customers, in an amount that reflects the consideration it expects 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 energy 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. For Customer Agreements that include a fixed fee per month which entitles the customer to any and all electricity generated by the system, and for which the Company’s obligation is to provide continuous access to a functioning solar energy system, the Company recognizes revenue evenly over the time that it satisfies its performance obligations, which is over the initial term of the Customer Agreements. For Customer Agreements that charge a fixed price per kilowatt hour, and for which the Company’s obligation is the provision of electricity from a solar energy system, revenue is recognized based on the actual amount of power generated at rates specified under the contracts. Customer Agreements typically have an initial term of 20 or 25 years. After the initial contract term, Customer Agreements typically automatically renew on an annual basis.
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 or upon reporting of the electricity generation. For pass-through financing obligation Funds, the value attributable to the monetization of Commercial ITCs are recognized in the period a solar energy 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, revenue is recognized when the solar energy system passes inspection by the authority having jurisdiction, which inspection generally occurs after installation but prior to PTO, at which time the Company has met the performance obligation in the contract. For solar energy system sales that include delivery obligations up until interconnection to the local power grid with permission to operate, the Company recognizes revenue at PTO. Certain solar energy systems sold to customers include fees for extended warranty and maintenance services. These fees are recognized over the life of the service agreement. The Company’s installation Projects are typically completed in less than twelve months.
Product sales consist of solar panels, racking systems, inverters, other solar energy products sold to resellers, roofing repair, and customer leads. Product sales revenue is recognized at the time when control is transferred, upon shipment, or as services are delivered. 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 effective January 1, 2022:
In October 2021, the FASB issued ASU No. 2021-08, Business Combinations (Topic 805): Accounting for Contract Assets and Contract Liabilities from Contracts with Customers, which requires contract assets and contract liabilities acquired in a business combination to be recognized and measured in accordance with ASC Topic 606, Revenue from Contracts with Customers. This ASU is effective for interim and annual periods beginning after December 15, 2022 on a prospective basis, with early adoption permitted. Effective January 1, 2022, the Company early adopted ASU 2021-08 on a prospective basis. There was no impact to its consolidated financial statements.

In May 2021, the FASB issued ASU No. 2021-04, Earnings Per Share (Topic 260), Debt— Modifications and Extinguishments (Subtopic 470-50), Compensation—Stock Compensation (Topic 718), and Derivatives and Hedging— Contracts in Entity’s Own Equity (Subtopic 815-40), which requires issuers to account for modifications or exchanges of freestanding equity-classified written call options that remain equity classified after the modification or exchange based on the economic substance of the modification or exchange. The Company adopted ASU 2021-04 effective January 1, 2022, and there was no impact to its consolidated financial statements.
Accounting standards to be adopted:
In October 2022, the FASB issued ASU No. 2022-04, Liabilities — Supplier Finance Programs (Subtopic 405-50): Disclosure of Supplier Finance Program Obligations, which requires entities to disclose the key terms of
supplier finance programs they use in connection with the purchase of goods and services along with information about their obligations under these programs, including a rollforward of those obligations. This ASU is effective for fiscal periods beginning after December 15, 2022, with early adoption permitted. The Company is currently evaluating this guidance and the impact it may have on its financial statement disclosures.