Similarly, the electricity produced and revenues generated by our wind power plants depend heavily on wind conditions, which are variable and difficult to predict. Operating results for wind power plants vary significantly from period to period depending on the wind conditions during the periods in question. As our wind power plants are located in geographies with different profiles, there is some flattening of the seasonal variability associated with each individual wind power plant’s generation, and we expect that as the fleet expands the effect of such wind resource variability may be favorably impacted, although we cannot guarantee that we will purchase wind power facilities that will achieve such results in part or at all. Historically, our wind production is greater in the first and fourth quarters which can partially offset the lower solar revenue expected to be generated in those quarters.
We do not expect seasonality to have a material effect on our ability to pay a regular dividend. We intend to mitigate the effects of any seasonality that we experience by reserving a portion of our cash available for distribution and otherwise maintain sufficient liquidity, including cash on hand in order to, among other things, facilitate the payment of dividends to our stockholders.
Power generation is a capital-intensive business with numerous industry participants. We compete to acquire new renewable energy facilities with renewable energy developers who retain renewable energy asset ownership, independent power producers, financial investors and certain utilities. We compete to supply energy to our potential customers with utilities and other providers of distributed generation. We compete with other renewable energy developers, independent power producers and financial investors based on our cost of capital, development expertise, pipeline, global footprint and brand reputation. To the extent we re-contract renewable energy facilities upon termination of a PPA or sell electricity into the merchant power market, we compete with traditional utilities and other independent power producers primarily based on low cost of capital, generation located at customer sites, operations and management expertise, price (including predictability of price), green attributes (such as RECs and tax incentives) of renewable power and the ease by which customers can switch to electricity generated by our renewable energy facilities. In our merchant power sales, we also compete with other types of generation resources, including gas and coal-fired power plants.
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. We do not anticipate material capital expenditures for environmental compliance for our renewable energy facilities in the next several years. 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. Additionally, environmental 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 we own are qualifying small power production facilities (“QFs”) as defined under the Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, as amended (“PURPA”) or Exempt Wholesale Generators (“EWGs”). As a result, they and their upstream owners 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.
We own a number of renewable energy facilities in the United States that are subject to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), and that have obtained “market based rate authorization” and associated blanket authorizations and waivers from FERC pursuant to the FPA, which allows it to sell electricity, capacity and ancillary services at