We are subject to environmental laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which we own and operate renewable energy facilities. These laws and regulations generally require that governmental permits and approvals be obtained and maintained both before construction and during operation of these renewable energy facilities. We incur costs in the ordinary course of business to comply with these laws, regulations and permit requirements. While we do not expect that the costs of compliance would generally have a material impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations, it is possible that as the size of our portfolio grows we may become subject to new or modified regulatory regimes that may impose unanticipated requirements on our business as a whole that were not anticipated with respect to any individual renewable energy facility. We also do not anticipate material capital expenditures for environmental compliance for our renewable energy facilities in the next several years. These laws and regulations frequently change and often become more stringent, or subject to more stringent interpretation or enforcement, and therefore future changes could require us to incur materially higher costs which could have a material negative impact on our financial performance or results of operations.
All of the renewable energy facilities located in the United States that the Company owns are QFs as defined under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended ("PURPA") or Exempt Wholesale Generators ("EWGs"). As a result, they are exempt from the books and records access provisions of the Public Utilities Holding Company Act of 2005, as amended ("PUHCA"), and most are exempt from state organizational and financial regulation of electric utilities. Depending upon the power production capacity of the renewable energy facility in question, our QFs and their immediate project company owners may be entitled to various exemptions from ratemaking and certain other regulatory provisions of the Federal Power Act, as amended ("FPA").
All of the renewable energy facility companies that we own outside of the United States are Foreign Utility Companies, as defined in PUHCA. They are exempt from state organizational and financial regulation of electric utilities and from most provisions of PUHCA and FPA.
The Company owns a number of renewable energy facilities in the United States with a net power production capacity greater than 20 MW (AC). Each project company that owns such a facility that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC"), under the FPA has obtained “market based rate authorization” and associated blanket authorizations and waivers, which allows it to sell electricity, capacity and ancillary services at wholesale or negotiated market based rates, instead of cost-of-service rates, as well as waivers of, and blanket authorizations under, certain FERC regulations that are commonly granted to market based rate sellers. FERC requires market based rate holders to make additional filings upon certain triggering events in order to maintain market based rate authority. The failure to make timely filings can result in suspension of market based rate authority, refunds of revenues previously collected and the imposition of civil penalties.
Under Section 203 of the FPA (“FPA Section 203”), prior authorization by FERC is generally required for any direct or indirect acquisition of control over, or merger or consolidation with, a “public utility” or in certain circumstances an “electric utility company,” as such terms are used for purposes of FPA Section 203. FERC generally presumes that the acquisition of direct or indirect voting power of 10% or more in an entity results in a change in control of such entity. Violation of FPA Section 203 can result in civil or criminal liability under the FPA, including civil penalties, and the possible imposition of other sanctions by FERC, including the potential voiding of an acquisition made without prior authorization under FPA Section 203. Depending upon the circumstances, liability for violation of FPA Section 203 may attach to a public utility, the parent holding company of a public utility or an electric utility company, or to an acquirer of the voting securities of such holding company or its public utility or electric utility company subsidiaries.
The Company’s renewable energy facilities are also subject to compliance with the mandatory Reliability Standards developed by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation ("NERC") and approved by FERC. In the United Kingdom, Canada and Chile, the Company is also generally subject to the regulations of the relevant energy regulatory agencies applicable to all producers of electricity under the relevant feed-in tariff or other governmental incentive (collectively "FIT") regulations (including the FIT rates); however it is generally not subject to regulation as a traditional public utility, i.e., regulation of our financial organization and rates other than FIT rates.
As the size of our portfolio grows, it may become subject to new or modified regulatory regimes that may impose unanticipated requirements on its business as a whole that were not anticipated with respect to any individual renewable energy facility. For example, the NERC rules approved by FERC impose fleetwide cyber security requirements regarding electronic and physical access to generating facilities in order to protect system reliability; such requirements expand in scope after the