Variable Interest Entities
The Company consolidates VIEs when the Company is the primary beneficiary. The primary beneficiary of a VIE is the party that has the power to direct the activities that most significantly impact the performance of the entity and the obligation to absorb losses or the right to receive benefits that could potentially be significant to the entity.
VIEs are entities that lack sufficient equity to finance their activities without additional financial support from other parties or whose equity holders, as a group, lack one or more of the following characteristics: (a) direct or indirect ability to make decisions; (b) obligation to absorb expected losses; or (c) right to receive expected residual returns. VIEs must be evaluated quantitatively and qualitatively to determine the primary beneficiary, which is the reporting entity that has (a) the power to direct activities of a VIE that most significantly impact the VIEs economic performance and (b) the obligation to absorb losses of the VIE that could potentially be significant to the VIE or the right to receive benefits from the VIE that could potentially be significant to the VIE. The primary beneficiary is required to consolidate the VIE for financial reporting purposes. A VIE can have only one primary beneficiary, but may not have a primary beneficiary if no party meets the criteria described above.
To determine a VIE's primary beneficiary, an enterprise must perform a qualitative assessment to determine which party, if any, has the power to direct activities of the VIE, the obligation to absorb losses, and/or receive its benefits. Therefore, an enterprise must identify the activities that most significantly impact the VIE's economic performance and determine whether it, or another party, has the power to direct those activities. When evaluating whether the Company is the primary beneficiary of a VIE, the Company performs a qualitative analysis that considers the design of the VIE, the nature of the Company's involvement and the variable interests held by other parties. If that evaluation is inconclusive as to which party absorbs a majority of the entity’s expected losses or residual returns, a quantitative analysis is performed to determine the primary beneficiary.
For the Company's consolidated VIEs, the Company has presented on its consolidated balance sheets, to the extent material, the assets of its consolidated VIEs that can only be used to settle specific obligations of the consolidated VIE, and the liabilities of its consolidated VIEs for which creditors do not have recourse to the Company's general assets outside of the VIE.
Cash and Cash Equivalents
Cash and cash equivalents include all cash balances and money market funds with original maturity periods of three months or less when purchased. As of December 31, 2015 and 2014, cash and cash equivalents included $81.1 million and $12.0 million, respectively, of unrestricted cash held at project-level subsidiaries, which was available for project expenses but not available for corporate use.
Restricted cash consists of cash on deposit in financial institutions that is restricted to satisfy the requirements of
certain debt agreements and funds held within the Company's project companies that are restricted for current debt service payments and other purposes in accordance with the applicable debt agreements. These restrictions include: (i) cash on deposit in collateral accounts, debt service reserve accounts and maintenance reserve accounts; and (ii) cash on deposit in operating
accounts but subject to distribution restrictions related to debt defaults existing as of the balance sheet date.
As discussed in Note 10. Long-term debt, the Company experienced defaults under most of its non-recourse financing agreements prior to the issuance of the financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2015. As a result, the Company reclassified $61.1 million of long-term restricted cash to current as of December 31, 2015, consistent with the corresponding debt classification, as the restrictions that required the cash balances to be classified as long-term restricted cash were driven by the financing agreements.
Accounts Receivable and Allowance for Doubtful Accounts
Accounts receivable are reported on the consolidated balance sheets, including both billed and unbilled amounts, and are adjusted for any write-offs as well as the allowance for doubtful accounts. The Company establishes an allowance for doubtful accounts to adjust its receivables to amounts considered to be ultimately collectible and charges to the allowance are recorded within general and administrative expenses in the consolidated statements of operations. The Company's allowance is