Forward Looking Statements
Various statements in this annual report, including those that express a belief, expectation or intention, as well as those that are not statements of historical fact, are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements may include projections and estimates concerning the timing and success of specific projects, revenues, income and capital spending. We generally identify forward-looking statements with the words "believe," "intend," "expect," "seek," "may," "will," "should," "would," "anticipate," "could," "estimate," "plan," "predict," "project" or their negatives, and other similar expressions. All statements we make relating to our estimated and projected earnings, margins, costs, expenditures, cash flows, growth rates and financial results or to our expectations regarding future industry trends are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may change at any time, and, therefore, our actual results may differ materially from those that we expected. The forward-looking statements contained in this report are largely based on our expectations, which reflect many estimates and assumptions made by our management. These estimates and assumptions reflect our best judgment based on currently known market conditions and other factors. Although we believe such estimates and assumptions are reasonable, we caution that it is very difficult to
Table of Contents
predict the impact of known factors and it is impossible for us to anticipate all factors that could affect our actual results. In addition, our advisor's assumptions about future events may prove to be inaccurate. We caution all readers that the forward-looking statements contained in this report are not guarantees of future performance, and we cannot assure any reader that such statements will prove correct or the forward-looking events and circumstances will occur. Actual results may differ materially from those anticipated or implied in the forward-looking statements due to the numerous risks and uncertainties as described under "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in this report. All forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us on the date of this report. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as otherwise required by law. You are advised to consult any additional disclosures that we may make directly to you or through reports that we in the future may file with the
• changes in the economy; • the ability to complete the renewable energy projects in which we invest; • our relationships with project developers, lawyers, investment and commercial banks, individual and institutional investors, consultants, diligence specialists, EPC companies, contractors, renewable energy technology manufacturers (such as panel manufacturers), solar insurance specialists, component manufacturers, software providers and other industry participants in the renewable energy, capital markets and project finance sectors; • fluctuations in supply, demand, prices and other conditions for electricity, other commodities and renewable energy certificates ("RECs"); • public response to and changes in the local, state and federal regulatory framework affecting renewable energy projects, including the potential expiration or extension of the production tax credit ("PTC"), investment tax credit ("ITC") and the related U.S. Treasury grants and potential reductions in renewable portfolio standards ("RPS") requirements; • competition from other energy developers; • the worldwide demand for electricity and the market for renewable energy; • the ability or inability of conventional fossil fuel-based generation technologies to meet the worldwide demand for electricity; • our competitive position and our expectation regarding key competitive factors; • risks associated with our hedging strategies; • potential environmental liabilities and the cost of compliance with applicable environmental laws and regulations, which may be material; • our electrical production projections (including assumptions of curtailment and facility availability) for our renewable energy projects; • our ability to operate our business efficiently, manage costs (including general and administrative expenses) effectively and generate cash flow; • availability of suitable renewable energy resources and other weather conditions that affect our electricity production; • the effects of litigation, including administrative and other proceedings or investigations relating to our renewable energy projects; • non-payment by customers and enforcement of certain contractual provisions; • risks associated with possible disruption in our operations or the economy generally due to terrorism or natural disasters; and • future changes in laws or regulations and conditions in our operating areas.
Table of Contents
Our business objective is to generate attractive risk-adjusted returns for our members, consisting of both current income and long-term capital appreciation, by acquiring, and financing the construction and/or operation of income-generating renewable energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development projects, primarily within but also outside of
Our goal is to assemble a diversified portfolio of renewable energy, energy efficiency and other sustainability related projects and businesses. Renewable energy projects earn revenue through the sale of generated electricity as well as frequently through the sale of other commodities such RECs and energy efficiency certificates ("EECs"), which are generated by the projects. We expect initially to focus on solar energy and wind energy projects. We believe solar energy projects generally offer more predictable power generations characteristics, due to the relative predictability of sunlight over the course of time compared to other renewable energy classes and therefore we expect they will provide more stable income streams. However, technological advances in wind turbines and government incentives make wind energy projects attractive as well. Solar energy projects provide maximum energy production during the middle of the day and in the summer months when days are longer and nights shorter. Generally, the demand for power tends to be higher at those times due to the use of air conditioning and as a result energy prices tend to be higher. In addition, solar projects are eligible to receive significant government incentives at both the federal and state levels which can be applied to offset project development costs or supplement the price at which power generated by these projects can be sold. Solar energy projects also tend to have minimal environmental impact enabling such projects to be developed close to areas of dense population where electricity demand is highest. Solar technology is scalable and well-established and it will be a relatively simple process to integrate new acquisitions and projects into our portfolio. Over time, we expect to broaden our strategy to include other types of renewable energy projects and businesses, which may include hydropower assets, geothermal plants, biomass and biofuel assets, combined heat and power technology assets, fuel cell assets and other energy efficiency assets, among others, and to the extent we deem the opportunity attractive, other energy and sustainability related assets and businesses.
Our primary investment strategy is to acquire controlling equity stakes in our target assets and to oversee and supervise their power generation and distribution processes. We define controlling equity stakes as companies in which we own 25% or more of the voting securities of such company or have greater than 50% representation on such company's board of directors. However, we will also provide project financing to projects owned by others, including through the provision of secured loans which may or may not include some form of equity participation. We may also provide projects with senior unsecured debt, subordinated secured debt, subordinated unsecured debt, mezzanine debt, convertible debt, convertible preferred equity, and preferred equity, and make minority equity investments. We may also participate in projects by acquiring contractual payment rights or rights to receive a proportional interest in the operating cash flow or net income of a project. Our strategy will be tailored to balance long-term energy price certainty, which we can achieve through long-term power purchase agreements, with shorter term arrangements that allow us to potentially generate higher risk-adjusted returns.
Our renewable energy projects will generate revenue primarily by selling (1) generated electric power to local utilities and other high quality, utility, municipal and corporate counterparties, and (2) in some cases, RECs, EECs, and other commodities associated with the generation or savings of power. We will therefore seek to acquire or finance projects that contain transmission infrastructures and access to power grids or networks that will enable the generated power to be sold. We generally expect our projects will have power purchase agreements with one or more counterparties, including local utilities or other high credit quality counterparties, who agree to purchase the electricity generated from the project. We refer to these power purchase agreements as "must-take contracts," and we refer to these other counterparties as "off-takers." These must-take contracts guarantee that all electricity generated by each project will be purchased. Although we intend to work primarily with high credit quality counterparties, in the event that an off-taker cannot fulfill its contractual obligation to purchase the power, we generally can sell the power to the local utility or other suitable counterparty, which would potentially ensure revenue is generated for all solar electricity generation. We will also generate revenue from the receipt of interest, fees, capital gains and distributions from investments in our target assets.
These power purchase agreements, when structured with utilities and other large commercial users of electricity, are generally long-term in nature with all electricity generated by the project purchased at a rate established pursuant to a formula set by the counterparty. The formula is often dependent upon the type of subsidies, if any, offered by the local and state governments for project development. Although we expect to focus on projects with long-term contracts that ensure price certainty, we will also look for projects with shorter term arrangements that will allow us, through these projects, to participate in market rate changes which we expect may lead to higher current income.
Table of Contents
We expect certain of the power purchase agreements for our projects will be structured as "behind the meter" agreements with commercial or municipal entities, which provide that all electricity generated by a project will be purchased by the off-taker at an agreed upon rate that may be set at a slight discount to the retail electric rate for the off-taker. These agreements also typically provide for annual rate increases over the term of the agreement. The behind the meter agreement is long-term in nature and further typically provides that, should the off-taker fail to fulfill its contractual obligation, any electricity that is not purchased by the off-taker may be sold to the local utility, usually at the wholesale electric rate.
We may also acquire residential solar assets and subsequently lease them to a residential owner on a long term basis. In these arrangements with residential owners, the residential owner directly receives the benefit of the electricity generated by the solar asset. We may also structure our investments in residential solar with a similar commercial arrangement to that of the power purchase agreements with utilities and other large commercial users of electricity for our energy projects, as described above.
We may also finance energy efficiency projects, which seek to enable businesses and governmental organizations to utilize less energy while at the same time providing the same or greater level of energy amenity. Financing for energy efficiency projects is generally used to pay for energy efficiency retrofits of buildings, homes, businesses, and replacement of other inefficient energy consuming assets with more modern technologies. These projects can be structured to provide predictable long-term cash flows by receiving a portion of the energy savings and the sale of associated RECs and EECs generated by such installations. In each of our renewable energy and energy efficiency investments, we also intend, where appropriate, to maximize the benefits of state and/or municipal renewable energy standards or RPS as well as other federal, state and local government support and incentives for the renewable energy industry.
We were formed as a
Factors Impacting Our Operating Results.
We expect that the results of our operations will be affected by a number of factors and will primarily depend on, among other things, the supply of renewable energy assets in the marketplace, the revenues we receive from renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and businesses, the market price of electricity, the availability of government incentives, local, regional and national economies and general market conditions. Additionally, our operations will be impacted by interest rates and the cost of financing provided by other financial market participants. Many of the factors that will affect our operating results are beyond our control.
Size of portfolio. The size of our portfolio of investments will be a key revenue driver. Generally, as the size of our portfolio grows, the amount of income we receive will increase. In addition, our portfolio of investments may grow at an uneven pace as opportunities to make investments in our target assets may be irregularly timed, and the timing and extent of GCM's success in identifying such assets, and our success in acquiring such assets, cannot be predicted.
Credit risk. We expect to encounter credit risk relating to (1) counterparties to the electricity sales agreements (including power purchase agreements) for our projects, (2) counterparties responsible for project construction, (3) companies in which we may invest and (4) any potential debt financing we or our projects may obtain. When we are able to do so, we will seek to mitigate credit risk by entering into contracts with high quality counterparties. However, it is still possible that these counterparties may be unable to fulfill their contractual obligations to us. If counterparties to the electricity sales agreements for our projects or the companies in which we invest are unable to make payments to us when due, or at all, our financial condition and results of operations could be materially adversely effected. While we will seek to mitigate construction-related credit risk by entering into contracts with high quality EPC companies with appropriate bonding and insurance capacity, if EPCs to the construction agreements for our projects are unable to fulfill their contractual obligations to us, our financial condition and results of operation could be materially adversely effected. We will seek to mitigate credit risk by deploying a comprehensive review and asset selection process, including worst case analysis, and careful ongoing monitoring of acquired assets as well as mitigation of negative credit effects through back up planning. Nevertheless, unanticipated credit losses could occur which could adversely impact our operating results.
Table of Contents
Electricity prices. Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and businesses expose us to volatility in the market prices of electricity. Although we generally expect our projects will have long-term contracts, ranging from 10 to 25 years, which will mitigate the effects of volatility in energy prices on our business, to the extent that our projects have shorter term contracts that have the potential of producing higher risk-adjusted returns, such shorter term contracts may subject us to risk should energy prices change.
Government incentives. In each of our projects, we intend (where appropriate) to take advantage of, and maximize the benefits of, federal, state and/or municipal governmental incentives which may include tariffs, tax incentives and other cash and non-cash payments and incentives from the development and sale of renewable energy. Incentives provided by the federal government may include PTCs, ITCs, tax deductions, bonus depreciation and federal grants and loan guarantees. In addition, incentives provided by states may (depending on the state) include renewable energy standards or RPS which specify that a portion of the power utilized by local utilities must be derived from renewable energy sources or that require utilities to purchase RECs to satisfy their RPS requirements. Additionally, certain states have implemented feed-in tariffs, pursuant to which electricity generated from renewable sources is purchased at a higher rate than prevailing wholesale rates. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 established the modified accelerated cost recovery system, or MACRS, which divides assets into classes and assigns a mandated number of years over which the assets in the class depreciate for tax purposes. Under MACRS, certain renewable energy projects have an accelerated depreciation life that is substantially shorter than the typical life expectancy of non-renewable facilities. For example, under MACRS, a solar project has a depreciation life of five years (compared to a typical life expectancy of a solar project of 20 to 25 years), with a 50% depreciation bonus during 2012. Changes in government incentives, including retrospective changes, could negatively impact our operating results.
Changes in market interest rates. With respect to our proposed business operations, to the extent that we use debt financing with unhedged floating interest rates or in the case of any refinancing, general increases in interest rates over time may cause the interest expense associated with our borrowings to increase, and the value of our debt investments to decline. Conversely, general decreases in interest rates over time may cause the interest expense associated with our borrowings to decrease, and the value of our debt investments to increase.
Market conditions. We believe that demand for alternative forms of energy from traditional fossil-fuel energy will continue to grow as countries seek to reduce their dependence on outside sources of energy and as the political and social climate continues to demand social responsibility on environmental matters. Notwithstanding this growing demand, we believe that a significant shortage of capital currently exists in the market to satisfy the demands of the renewable energy sector in
Critical Accounting Policies and Use of Estimates
The following discussion addresses the initial accounting policies utilized based on our initial operations. Our most critical accounting policies will involve decisions and assessments that could affect our reported assets and liabilities, as well as our reported revenues and expenses. We believe that all of the decisions and assessments upon which our financial statements are based will be reasonable at the time made and based upon information available to us at that time. Our critical accounting policies and accounting estimates will be expanded over time as we continue to implement our business and operating strategy. The material accounting policies and estimates that we initially expect to be most critical to an investor's understanding of our financial results and condition, as well as those that require complex judgment decisions by our management, are discussed below.
Basis of Presentation
Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, which requires the use of estimates, assumptions and the exercise of subjective judgment as to future uncertainties.
Although we are organized and intend to conduct our business in a manner so that we are not required to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act, our financial statements are prepared using the specialized accounting principles of Accounting Standards Codification Topic 946, Financial Services-Investment Companies, or ASC Topic 946. Overall, we believe that the use of investment company accounting makes our financial statements more useful to investors and other financial statement users since it will allow a more appropriate basis of comparison to other entities with similar investment objectives.
Table of Contents
We classify our investments by level of control. "Control Investments" are investments in companies in which we own 25% or more of the voting securities of such company or have greater than 50% representation on such company's board of directors. "Affiliate Investments" are investments in companies in which we own 5% or more and less than 25% of the voting securities of such company. "Non-Control/Non-Affiliate Investments" are investments that are neither Control Investments nor Affiliate Investments. Because our financial statements are prepared in accordance with ASC Topic 946, we will not consolidate companies in which we have Control Investments nor will we apply the equity method of accounting to our Control Investments or Affiliate Investments.
Valuation of Investments
Our advisor and independent valuation firm, subject to the review and approval of the board of directors, is ultimately responsible for the determination, in good faith, of the fair value of investments. In that regard, the Advisor has established policies and procedures which have been reviewed and approved by our Board of Directors, to estimate the fair value of our investments which are detailed below. Any changes to these policies and procedures are required to be approved by our board of directors, including a majority of our independent directors.
Investments for which market quotations are readily available are valued at such market quotations.
For most of our investments, market quotations are not available. With respect to investments for which market quotations are not readily available, our board of directors has approved a multi-step valuation process each fiscal quarter, as described below:
1. each investment will be valued by GCM. As part of the valuation process, GCM will prepare the valuations and associated supporting materials for review and approval by the board of directors;
2. our board of directors has approved the selection of an independent valuation firm to assist with the review of the valuations prepared by GCM. At the direction of our board of directors, the independent valuation firm will review valuations prepared by GCM for the appropriate application of its valuation policies and the appropriateness of significant inputs used in the valuation models by performing certain limited procedures, which will include a review of GCM's estimates of fair value for each investment and providing an opinion that GCM's estimate of fair value for each investment is reasonable. The independent valuation firm may also provide direct assistance to GCM in preparing fair value estimates if the board of directors approves such assistance. In the event that the independent valuation firm is directly involved in preparing the fair value estimate, our board of directors has the authority to hire a separate valuation firm to review that opinion of value;
3. the audit committee of our board of directors reviews and discusses the preliminary valuation prepared by GCM and the report of the independent valuation firm, if any; and
4. our board of directors reviews the valuations and approves the fair value of each investment in our portfolio in good faith based by GCM.
Loan investments are valued utilizing a market approach, an income approach, or both approaches, as appropriate. The market approach uses prices and other relevant information generated by market transactions involving identical or comparable assets or liabilities. The income approach uses valuation techniques to convert future amounts (for example, interest and amortization payments) to a single present value amount (discounted) calculated based on an appropriate discount rate. The measurement is based on the net present value using current market expectations about those future amounts. In following these approaches, the types of factors that we may take into account in determining the fair value of our loans include as applicable: debt covenants, call protection provisions, information rights, the nature and realizable value of any collateral, the project's ability to make payments, its earnings and discounted cash flows, the markets in which the project does business, comparisons of financial ratios of peer business entities that are public, mergers and acquisitions comparables, the principal market and enterprise values, among other factors.
Equity investments are also valued utilizing a market approach, an income approach, or both approaches, as appropriate. The market approach uses prices and other relevant information generated by market transactions involving identical or comparable assets or liabilities. The income approach uses valuation techniques to convert future amounts (for example net cash flows or earnings) to a single present value amount (discounted) calculated based on an appropriate discount rate. The measurement is based on the net present value using current market expectations about those future amounts. In following these approaches, the types of factors that we may take into account in determining the fair value of our equity investments include, as applicable: available current market data, including relevant and applicable market trading and transaction comparables, applicable market yields and multiples, security covenants, the project's earnings and discounted cash flows, the markets in which the project does business, comparisons of financial ratios of peer business entities that are public, mergers and acquisitions comparables, the principal market and enterprise values, among other factors.
Table of Contents
We have adopted Accounting Standards Codification Topic 820, Fair Value Measurements and Disclosures (formerly Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 157, Fair Value Measurements), or ASC Topic 820, which defines fair value, establishes a framework for measuring fair value in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles and expands disclosures about fair value measurements.
ASC Topic 820 clarifies that the fair value price is the price in an orderly transaction between market participants to sell an asset or transfer a liability in the market in which the reporting entity would transact for the asset or liability, that is, the principal or most advantageous market for the asset or liability. The transaction to sell the asset or transfer the liability is a hypothetical transaction at the measurement date, considered from the perspective of a market participant that holds the asset or owes the liability. ASC Topic 820 provides a consistent definition of fair value which focuses on exit price and prioritizes, within a measurement of fair value, the use of market-based inputs over entity-specific inputs. In addition, ASC Topic 820 provides a framework for measuring fair value and establishes a three-level hierarchy for fair value measurements based upon the transparency of inputs to the valuation of an asset or liability as of the measurement date. The three levels of valuation hierarchy established by ASC Topic 820 are defined as follows:
Level 1: Quoted prices in active markets for identical assets or liabilities, accessible by our company at the measurement date.
Level 2: Quoted prices for similar assets or liabilities in active markets, or quoted prices for identical or similar assets or liabilities in markets that are not active, or other observable inputs other than quoted prices.
Level 3: Unobservable inputs for the asset or liability.
In all cases, the level in the fair value hierarchy within which the fair value measurement in its entirety falls will be determined based on the lowest level of input that is significant to the fair value measurement. Our assessment of the significance of a particular input to the fair value measurement in its entirety requires judgment and considers factors specific to each investment.
Our board of directors has approved the selection of an independent valuation firm to review our advisor's valuation methodology and to work with our advisor and officers to provide additional inputs for consideration by our audit committee and to work directly with our full board of directors, at the board of directors' request, with respect to the fair value of investments. For example, our board of directors may determine to engage more than one independent valuation firm in circumstances in which specific expertise of a particular asset or asset class is needed in connection with the valuation of an investment. In addition, GCM will recommend to our board of directors that one quarter of our investments be valued by an independent valuation firm each quarter, on a rotating quarterly basis. Accordingly, each such investment would be reviewed by an independent valuation firm at least once per year.
Our board of directors will have the ability to review our advisor's valuation methodologies each quarter in connection with GCM's presentation of its valuation recommendations to the audit committee. If during the period between quarterly board meetings, GCM determines that significant changes have occurred since the prior meeting of the board of directors at which it presented its recommendations on the valuation methodology, then GCM will also prepare and present recommendations to the audit committee of the board of directors of its proposed changes to the current valuation methodology. Any such changes to our valuation methodologies will require the approval of our board of directors, including a majority of our independent directors. We will disclose any change in our valuation methodologies, or any change in our investment criteria or strategies, that would constitute a fundamental change in a registration statement amendment prior to its implementation.
Calculation of Net Asset Value
Our net asset value will be calculated and published on a quarterly basis commencing on
The determination of the fair value of our investments requires judgment, especially with respect to investments for which market quotations are not available. For most of our investments, market quotations are not available. Due to the inherent uncertainty of determining the fair value of investments that do not have a readily available market value, the fair value of the investments may differ significantly from the values that would have been used had a readily available market value existed for such investments, and the differences could be material. Because the calculation of our net asset value is based, in part, on the fair value of our investments as reviewed and approved by our board of directors, our calculation of net asset value is to a degree subjective and could be adversely affected if the determinations regarding the fair value of our investments were materially higher than the values that we ultimately realize upon the disposal of such investments. Furthermore, the fair value of our investments as approved by our board of directors may be materially different from the valuation as determined by an independent valuation firm.
Table of Contents
We record interest income on an accrual basis to the extent that we expect to collect such amounts. We do not accrue as a receivable interest on loans and debt securities for accounting purposes if we have reason to doubt our ability to collect such interest. Original issue discounts, market discounts or premiums are accreted or amortized using the effective interest method as interest income. We record prepayment premiums on loans and debt securities as interest income.
We place loans on non-accrual status when principal and interest are past due 90 days or more or when there is a reasonable doubt that we will collect principal or interest. Accrued interest is generally reversed when a loan is placed on non- accrual. Interest payments received on non-accrual loans may be recognized as income or applied to principal depending upon management's judgment. Non-accrual loans are generally restored to accrual status when past due and principal and interest is paid and, in our management's judgment, is likely to remain current.
Dividend income is recorded (1) on the ex-dividend date for publicly issued securities and (2) when received from private investments.
Net Realized Gains or Losses and Net Change in Unrealized Appreciation or Depreciation on Investments
We measure realized gains or losses by the difference between the net proceeds from the sale, repayment, or disposal of an asset and the adjusted cost basis of the asset, without regard to unrealized appreciation or depreciation previously recognized. Net change in unrealized appreciation or depreciation will reflect the change in investment values during the reporting period, including any reversal of previously recorded unrealized appreciation or depreciation, when gains or losses are realized.
Organization costs will be expensed on the Company's statement of operations as incurred.
Offering costs include all costs to be paid by the Company in connection with the Offering, including legal, accounting, printing, mailing and filing fees, charges of the Company's escrow holder, due diligence expense reimbursements to participating broker-dealers included in detailed and itemized invoices and costs in connection with administrative oversight of the Offering and marketing process, and preparing supplemental sales materials, holding educational conferences, and attending retail seminars conducted by broker-dealers. When recognized by the Company, offering costs, will be recognized as a reduction of the proceeds from the Offering. The company had previously disclosed that its policy was to defer offering costs and recognize these costs as an expense over a 12 month period.
U.S. Federal Income Taxes
We have received the opinion of
While it is expected that we will operate so that we will qualify to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a partnership, and not as an association or a publicly traded partnership taxable as a corporation, given the highly complex nature of the rules governing partnerships, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, the lack of direct guidance with respect to the application of tax laws to the activities we are undertaking and the possibility of future changes in its circumstances, it is possible that we will not so qualify for any particular year.
Table of Contents
held through taxable corporate subsidiaries. However, we may not properly identify income as "qualifying," and our compliance with the "qualifying income exception" will not be reviewed
If, for any reason we become taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, our items of income and deduction would not pass through to our members and our members would be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as stockholders in a corporation. We would be required to pay income tax at corporate rates on our net income. Distributions by us to members would constitute dividend income taxable to such members, to the extent of our earnings and profits, and the payment of these distributions would not be deductible by us. These consequences would have a material adverse effect on us, our members and the value of the shares.
While it is expected that we will operate so that we will qualify to be treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as a partnership, we expect that a significant portion of our investments will not generate "qualifying income" and that we will conduct a significant portion of our operations through GREC, a wholly owned subsidiary treated as a C corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes and subject to U.S. federal income tax on its net income. Conducting our operations through GREC will allow us to effectively utilize tax incentives generated from projects in which we hold controlling equity stakes to reduce the taxable income generated by our other investments through tax incentives that are better utilized by C-corporations than other forms of entities. Because a significant portion of our investments will be held through GREC, the tax benefit of our being a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes will be limited to the income generated by the investments that the LLC directly holds.
Income taxes are accounted for under the assets and liabilities method. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are recorded for the estimated future tax consequences attributable to differences between items that are recognized in the financial statements and tax returns in different years.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
We qualify as an "emerging growth company" pursuant to the provisions of the JOBS Act, enacted on
Table of Contents
Under the JOBS Act, we will remain an "emerging growth company" until the earliest of: • the last day of the fiscal year during which we have total annual gross revenues of
$1 billionor more; • the last day of the fiscal year following the fifth anniversary of the completion of this offering; • the date on which we have, during the previous three-year period, issued more than $1 billionin non-convertible debt; and • the date on which we are deemed to be a "large accelerated filer" under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). We will qualify as a large accelerated filer as of the first day of the first fiscal year after we have (i) more than $700 millionin outstanding common equity held by our non-affiliates as of the last day of our most recently completed second fiscal quarter, (ii) been a public company for at least 12 months and (iii) filed at least one annual report with the SEC. The value of our outstanding common equity will be measured each year on the last day of our second fiscal quarter.
The JOBS Act also provides that an "emerging growth company" can utilize the extended transition period provided in Section 7(a)(2)(B) of the Securities Act for complying with new or revised accounting standards. However, we are choosing to opt out of that extended transition period, and, as a result, we will comply with new or revised accounting standards on the relevant dates on which adoption of such standards is required for companies that are not "emerging growth companies." Section 107 of the JOBS Act provides that our decision to opt out of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards is irrevocable.
Results of Operations
Revenues. Since we anticipate that the majority of our assets will consist of equity investments in renewable energy projects, we expect that the majority of our revenue will be generated in the form of dividend income. The other major component of our revenue will be interest income earned on our debt investments, including loans to developers and loans made directly or indirectly to renewable energy projects.
Expenses. As a company managed by an affiliated, third party advisor, our primary operating expenses will be the expenses associated with base management fees payable under the advisory agreement, other administrative operating expenses including payments under the administration agreement and interest payable on our borrowings.
Net Realized Gains or Losses and Net Change in Unrealized Appreciation or Depreciation on Investments. Net realized and unrealized gains and losses from our investments will be reported on the statement of operations. We will measure realized gains or losses as the difference between the net proceeds from the sale, repayment, or disposal of an asset and the adjusted cost basis of the asset, without regard to unrealized appreciation or depreciation previously recognized. Net change in unrealized appreciation or depreciation will reflect the change in investment values during the reporting period, including any reversal of previously recorded unrealized appreciation or depreciation, when gains or losses are realized.
Liquidity And Capital Resources
Liquidity is a measure of our ability to meet potential cash requirements, including ongoing commitments fund and maintain our assets and operations, repay borrowings, make distributions to our members and other general business needs. We will use significant cash to fund the acquisition, construction and operation of renewable energy and energy efficiency and sustainable development projects, make investments in renewable energy businesses, repay principal and interest on our borrowings, make distributions to our members and fund our operations. Our primary sources of cash will generally consist of:
• the net proceeds of this offering; 43
Table of Contents • dividends, fees, and interest earned from our portfolio of investments, as a result of, among other things, cash flows from a project's power sales; • proceeds from sales of assets and capital repayments from investments; • financing fees, retainers and structuring fees; • incentives and payments from federal, state and/or municipal governments; and • potential borrowing capacity under future financing sources.
We expect that our primary sources of financing will be through corporate-level credit facilities or other secured and unsecured borrowings. In addition, we expect to use other financing methods at the project level as necessary, including joint venture structures, construction loans, property mortgages, letters of credit, sale and leaseback transactions, other lease transactions and other arrangements, any of which may be unsecured or may be secured by mortgages or other interests in our assets. In addition, other sources of capital may include tax equity financings, whereby an investor receives an allocation of tax benefits as well as cash distribution and governmental grants. Tax equity investors are passive investors, usually large tax-paying financial entities such as banks, insurance companies and utility affiliates that use these investments to reduce future tax liabilities. Depending on the arrangement, until the tax equity investors achieve their agreed upon rate of return, they may be entitled to substantially all of the applicable project's operating cash flow, as well as substantially all of the project's ITCs, accelerated depreciation and taxable income or loss. Typically, tax equity financing transactions are structured so that the tax equity investors reach their target return between five and 10 years after the applicable project achieves commercial operation. As a result, a tax equity financing may substantially reduce the cash distributions from the applicable project available for debt service and the period during which the tax equity investors receive most of the cash distributions may last longer than expected if the portfolio company's energy projects perform below our expectations. While the terms of a tax equity financing may cause cash to be diverted away from the Company to the tax equity investor for certain periods specified in the financing arrangement (often five to ten years, measured from commencement of the tax equity financing), the we expect to couple investments where cash is so restrained with other cash flowing investments so as to provide cash for distributions to investors. Our investment strategy will involve a combination of different types of investments, so as to maintain a mix of cash flowing and non-cash flowing investments. We may also issue publicly or privately placed debt instruments.
While we generally intend to hold our target assets as long-term investments, certain of our assets may be sold in order to manage our liquidity needs, meet other operating objectives and adapt to market conditions. The timing and impact of future sales of our assets, if any, cannot be predicted with any certainty.
Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects and businesses expose us to volatility in the market prices of electricity and energy. In an effort to stabilize our revenue and input costs where applicable, we may enter into derivatives or other financial instruments in an attempt to hedge our commodity risk. With respect to any potential financings, general increases in interest rates over time may cause the interest expense associated with our borrowings to increase, and the value of our debt investments to decline. We may seek to stabilize our financing costs as well as any potential decline in our investments by entering into derivatives, swaps or other financial products in an attempt to hedge our interest rate risk. In the event we pursue any projects or investments outside of
GCM, a private firm that intends to register as an investment adviser under the Advisers Act, serves as our advisor. Under the direction of our board of directors, GCM manages our day-to-day operations and provides advisory and management services to us. The advisory agreement was previously approved by our board of directors and became effective on
Pursuant to the advisory agreement, which has been approved by our board of directors, GCM is authorized to retain one or more subadvisors with expertise in our target assets to assist GCM in fulfilling its responsibilities under the advisory agreement. Under the advisory agreement, GCM will be required to monitor any subadvisor to ensure that material information discussed by management of any subadvisor is communicated to our board of directors, as appropriate. If GCM retains any subadvisor to assist it in fulfilling its responsibilities under the advisory agreement, our advisor will pay such subadvisor a portion of the fees that it receives from us. We will not pay any additional fees to a subadvisor. While our advisor will oversee the performance of any subadvisor, our advisor will remain primarily liable to us to perform all of its duties under the advisory agreement, including those delegated to any subadvisor. GCM has a fiduciary responsibility to us pursuant to the advisory agreement.
Table of Contents
Pursuant to an advisory agreement, we pay GCM a base management fee for advisory and management services. The base management fee is calculated at a monthly rate of 0.167% (2.00% annually) of our gross assets (including amounts borrowed). For services rendered under the advisory agreement, the base management fee is payable monthly in arrears. The base management fee is calculated based on the average of the values of our gross assets for each day of the prior month. Base management fees for any partial period will be appropriately pro-rated. GCM may elect to defer or waive all or a portion of the fees that would otherwise be paid to it in its sole discretion. Any portion of a deferred fee not taken as to any period will be deferred without interest and may be taken in any other period prior to the occurrence of a liquidity event as GCM may determine in its sole discretion.
The Special Unitholder, an entity affiliated with our advisor, will hold the special unit in our company entitling it to an incentive allocation and distribution. Pursuant to our LLC Agreement, the incentive allocation and distribution, or Incentive Distribution, will have three parts as follows: The first part, the income incentive distribution, will be calculated and payable quarterly in arrears based on our pre-incentive distribution net investment income for the immediately preceding fiscal quarter. For this purpose, pre-incentive distribution net investment income means (1) interest income, (2) dividend, project and distribution income from equity investments (but excluding that portion of distributions that are treated as a return of capital) and (3) any other income (including any other fees, such as commitment, origination, structuring, diligence and consulting fees or other fees that we receive, but excluding any fees for providing managerial assistance) accrued during the fiscal quarter, minus our operating expenses for the fiscal quarter (including the base management fee, expenses payable under the administration agreement with our Administrator, and any interest expense and distributions paid on any issued and outstanding indebtedness and preferred units of limited liability company interest, but excluding the incentive distribution). Pre-incentive distribution net investment income includes, in the case of investments with a deferred interest feature (such as original issue discount, debt instruments with pay in kind interest and zero coupon securities), accrued income that we have not yet received in cash. If interest income is accrued but never paid, our board of directors would review and approve the write off of the accrual in the fiscal quarter when the accrual is determined to be uncollectible. The write off would cause a decrease in interest income for the fiscal quarter equal to the amount of the prior accrual. GCM is not under any obligation to reimburse us for any part of the incentive distribution it received that was based on accrued income that we never receive as a result of a default by an entity on the obligation that resulted in the accrual of such income. Pre-incentive distribution net investment income does not include any realized capital gains, realized capital losses, unrealized capital appreciation or depreciation or any accrued income taxes and other taxes including, but not limited to, franchise, property, and sales taxes. Pre-incentive distribution net investment income, expressed as a rate of return on the value of our average adjusted capital at the end of the fiscal quarter will be compared to a "hurdle rate" of 1.75% per fiscal quarter (7.00% annualized). Our net investment income used to calculate this part of the Incentive Distribution is also included in the amount of our gross assets used to calculate the 2.00% annualized base management fee
As of the date hereof,
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We currently have no off-balance sheet arrangements, including any risk management of commodity pricing or other hedging practices.
Subject to the board of directors' review and approval and applicable legal restrictions, we intend to authorize and declare distributions on a quarterly basis and pay distributions on a monthly basis. We will calculate each member's specific distribution amount for the period using record and declaration dates, and each member's distributions will begin to accrue on the date we accept each member's subscription for shares. From time to time, we may also pay interim special distributions in the form of cash
Table of Contents
or shares, with the approval of our board of directors. Distributions will be made on all classes of our shares at the same time. The cash distributions with respect to the Class C shares will be lower than the cash distributions with respect to Class A and Class I shares because of the distribution fee relating to Class C shares, which will be allocated as a Class C specific expense. Amounts distributed to each class will be allocated among the holders of our shares in such class in proportion to their shares.
We do not anticipate that inflation will have a significant effect on our results of operations. However, in the event of a significant increase in inflation, interest rates could rise and our projects and investments may be materially adversely affected.
Certain types of renewable power generation may exhibit seasonal behavior. For example, wind power generation is generally stronger in winter than in summer as wind speed tends to be higher when the weather is colder. In contrast, solar power generation is typically stronger in the summer than in the winter. This is primarily due to the brighter sunshine, longer days and shorter nights of the summer months, which generally result in the highest power output of the year for solar power. Because these seasonal variations are relatively predictable for these types of assets, we factor in the effects of seasonality when analyzing a potential investment in these target assets. Therefore, the impact that seasonality may have on our business, including the cash flows from our investments in our target assets, will depend on the diversity of our investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other sustainability related projects in our overall portfolio at such time as we have fully invested the proceeds from this offering. However, in the early stages of our operations, or to the extent our initial investments are concentrated in either solar or wind power, we expect our business to be seasonal based on the type of investment, as discussed above.