Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

VIE Arrangements - Carrying Amounts and Classification of the VIEs' Assets and Liabilities Included in the Consolidated Balance Sheets (Details)

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VIE Arrangements - Carrying Amounts and Classification of the VIEs' Assets and Liabilities Included in the Consolidated Balance Sheets (Details) - USD ($)
$ in Thousands
Mar. 31, 2016
Dec. 31, 2015
Mar. 31, 2015
Dec. 31, 2014
Current assets:        
Cash $ 208,313 $ 203,864 $ 105,473 $ 152,154
Restricted cash 9,246 9,203    
Accounts receivable, net 56,774 60,275    
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 13,903 5,917    
Total current assets 382,918 359,715    
Solar energy systems, net 2,137,015 1,992,021    
Total assets [1] 2,941,580 2,734,592    
Current liabilities:        
Accounts payable 93,701 104,133    
Distributions payable to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests 7,368 8,144    
Accrued expenses and other liabilities 53,826 49,146    
Deferred revenue, current portion 65,820 59,726    
Deferred grants, current portion 14,399 13,949    
Long-term non-recourse debt, current portion 5,591 4,722    
Total current liabilities 256,135 252,481    
Deferred revenue, net of current portion 577,220 559,066    
Deferred grants, net of current portion 216,176 220,784    
Long-term non-recourse debt, net of current portion 436,196 333,042    
Total liabilities [1] 2,068,360 1,927,893    
Variable Interest Entities        
Current assets:        
Cash 94,953 44,407    
Restricted cash 580 757    
Accounts receivable, net 14,558 12,965    
Prepaid expenses and other current assets 27 66    
Total current assets 110,118 58,195    
Solar energy systems, net 1,440,936 1,305,420    
Total assets 1,551,054 1,363,615    
Current liabilities:        
Accounts payable 10,857 11,025    
Distributions payable to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests 7,318 8,063    
Accrued expenses and other liabilities 264 175    
Deferred revenue, current portion 23,013 21,344    
Deferred grants, current portion 7,197 7,198    
Long-term non-recourse debt, current portion 1,206 1,159    
Total current liabilities 49,855 48,964    
Deferred revenue, net of current portion 364,854 353,392    
Deferred grants, net of current portion 106,704 108,528    
Long-term non-recourse debt, net of current portion 29,043 29,580    
Total liabilities $ 550,456 $ 540,464    
[1] The Company’s consolidated assets as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 include $1,551,054 and $1,363,615, respectively, in assets of variable interest entities, or VIEs, that can only be used to settle obligations of the VIEs. Solar energy systems, net, as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 were $1,440,936 and $1,305,420, respectively; cash as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 were $94,953 and $44,407, respectively; restricted cash as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 were $580 and $757, respectively; accounts receivable, net as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 were $14,558 and $12,965, respectively; prepaid expenses and other current assets as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 were $27 and $66, respectively. The Company’s consolidated liabilities as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 include $550,456 and $540,464, respectively, in liabilities of VIEs whose creditors have no recourse to the Company. These liabilities include accounts payable as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 of $10,857 and $11,025, respectively; distributions payable to noncontrolling interests and redeemable noncontrolling interests as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 of $7,318 and $8,063, respectively; accrued expenses and other liabilities as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 of $264 and $175, respectively; deferred revenue as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 of $387,867 and $374,736, respectively; deferred grants as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 of $113,901 and $115,726, respectively; and long-term non-recourse debt as of March 31, 2016 and December 31, 2015 of $30,249 and $30,739, respectively.