Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Investment Funds and Other Variable Interest Entities

Investment Funds and Other Variable Interest Entities
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2019
Organization, Consolidation and Presentation of Financial Statements [Abstract]  
Investment Funds and Other Variable Interest Entities
Investment Funds
In each of September 2015, June 2017, June 2018 and October 2018, the Company formed an investment fund with a different third-party investor which granted the applicable investor ownership interests in the net assets of certain of the Company’s renewable energy project subsidiaries. The Company currently has four such investment funds each with a different third-party investor.
The Company consolidates the investment funds, and all inter-company balances and transactions between the Company and the investment funds are eliminated in its condensed consolidated financial statements. The Company determined that the investment funds meet the definition of a VIE.
The Company uses a qualitative approach in assessing the consolidation requirement for VIEs that focuses on determining whether the Company has the power to direct the activities of the VIE that most significantly affect the VIE’s economic performance and whether the Company has the obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits that could potentially be significant to the VIE.
The Company has considered the provisions within the contractual arrangements that grant it power to manage and make decisions that affect the operation of these VIEs, including determining the solar energy systems and associated long term customer contracts to be sold or contributed to the VIEs, and installation, operation and maintenance of the solar energy systems. The Company considers that the rights granted to the other investors under the contractual arrangements are more protective in nature rather than participating rights. As such, the Company has determined it is the primary beneficiary of the VIEs for all periods presented. The Company evaluates its relationships with VIEs on an ongoing basis to ensure that it continues to be the primary beneficiary.
Under the related agreements, cash distributions of income and other receipts by the funds, net of agreed-upon expenses and estimated expenses, tax benefits and detriments of income and loss, and tax benefits of tax credits, are assigned to the funds’ investor and Company’s subsidiaries as specified in contractual arrangements. Certain of these arrangements have call and put options to acquire the investor’s equity interest as specified in the contractual agreements. See Note 13 for additional information on the call and put options.
A summary of amounts related to the investment funds in the Company’s condensed consolidated balance sheets is as follows:
September 30,
December 31,
Cash and cash equivalents


Restricted cash


Accounts receivable, net


Costs and estimated earnings in excess of billings


Prepaid expenses and other current assets


Total VIE current assets


Property and equipment, net


Energy assets, net


Operating lease assets


Other assets


Total VIE assets


Current portions of long-term debt and financing lease liabilities


Accounts payable


Accrued expenses and other current liabilities


Current portions of operating lease liabilities


Total VIE current liabilities


Long-term debt and financing lease liabilities, less current portions and net of deferred financing fees


Deferred income taxes, net


Long-term portions of operating lease liabilities


Other liabilities


Total VIE liabilities


(1) The amounts in the above table are reflected in footnote 1 on the Company’s condensed consolidated balance sheets. See the Company’s condensed consolidated balance sheets for additional information.
Other Variable Interest Entities
The Company follows guidance on the consolidation of VIEs that requires companies to utilize a qualitative approach to determine whether it is the primary beneficiary of a VIE. The process for identifying the primary beneficiary of a VIE requires consideration of the factors that indicate a party has the power to direct the activities that most significantly impact the joint ventures economic performance, including powers granted to the joint ventures program manager, powers contained in the joint venture governing board and, to a certain extent, a company's economic interest in the joint venture. The Company analyzes its joint ventures and classifies them as either:
a VIE that must be consolidated because the Company is the primary beneficiary or the joint venture is not a VIE and the Company holds the majority voting interest with no significant participative rights available to the other partners; or 
a VIE that does not require consolidation and is treated as an equity method investment because the Company is not the primary beneficiary or the joint venture is not a VIE and the Company does not hold the majority voting interest.
The Company executes certain contracts jointly with third parties through various forms of joint ventures. Although the joint ventures own and hold the contracts with the clients, the services required by the contracts are typically performed by the Company and the Company’s joint venture partners, or by other subcontractors under subcontracting agreements with the joint ventures. Many of these joint ventures are formed for a specific project. The assets of the Company’s joint ventures generally consist almost entirely of cash and land, and the liabilities of our joint ventures generally consist almost entirely of amounts due to the joint venture partners. Many of the joint ventures are deemed to be VIEs because they lack sufficient equity to finance the activities of the joint venture.
In January 2019, the Company entered into a joint venture with one other party to co-own an entity whose purpose is owning and leasing a parcel of land and attached structures to third-party entities. The joint venture has no employees and is controlled by the board of directors made up of representatives from both companies. Prior to January 2019, the Company had determined it was the primary beneficiary of the VIE and fully consolidated the entity. Upon the formation of the joint venture, the Company determined it was no longer the primary beneficiary, based on the assessment of considerations referenced above, and deconsolidated the VIE and recorded the Company’s investment in the joint venture as an equity method investment. With the deconsolidation of the VIE and the recognition of the equity method investment the Company recognized a gain of $2,160 in operating income and recorded an equity method investment of $1,361 in other assets. In addition, the Company has loaned the joint venture $1,506 and made an initial contribution at its formation in exchange for 50% of the shares in the joint venture.
Unconsolidated joint ventures are accounted for under the equity method. For those joint ventures, the Company's investment balances for the joint venture are included in other assets on the condensed consolidated balance sheets and the Company’s pro rata share of net income or loss is included in operating income. The Company’s investments in equity method joint ventures on the condensed consolidated balance sheets as of September 30, 2019 and December 31, 2018 was a net asset of $1,290 and $0, respectively. During the three and nine months ended September 30, 2019, the Company recognized expense of $73 and $147, respectively, from equity method joint ventures.