The Company and its subsidiaries have provided guarantees to certain of its institutional tax equity investors and financing parties in connection with its tax equity financing transactions. These guarantees do not guarantee the returns targeted by the tax equity investors or financing parties, but rather support any potential indemnity payments payable under the tax equity agreements, including related to management of tax partnerships and recapture of tax credits or renewable energy grants in connection with transfers of the Company’s direct or indirect ownership interests in the tax partnerships to entities that are not qualified to receive those tax benefits. The Company believes that the likelihood of a significant recapture event of the tax credits is remote and accordingly has not recorded any liability in the consolidated financial statements for any potential recapture obligation.
The Company and its subsidiaries have also provided guarantees in connection with acquisitions of third party assets or to support project contractual obligations, including renewable energy credit sales agreements. The Company and its subsidiaries have also provided other capped or limited contingent guarantees and other support obligations with respect to certain project-level indebtedness.
Commitments to Acquire Renewable Energy Facilities
As of December 31, 2018, the Company had a commitment of $3.4 million to acquire renewable energy facilities.
The Company leases land and buildings under operating leases. Total rental expense was $21.2 million, $21.0 million and $23.5 million during the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, respectively. The following table summarizes the Company's future commitments under operating leases as of December 31, 2018:
Long-Term Service Agreement
On August 10, 2018, the Company executed an 11-year framework agreement with an affiliate of General Electric that, among other things, provides for the roll out, subject to receipt of third party consents, of project level, long-term service agreements (collectively, the “LTSA”) for turbine operations and maintenance, as well as other balance of plant services across the Company’s 1.6 GW North American wind fleet. The Company is in the process of obtaining third party consents for the roll out of the LTSA, which may include the early termination of certain of the Company’s existing service contracts.
The Company is not a party to any material legal proceedings other than various administrative and regulatory proceedings arising in the ordinary course of the Company’s business or as described below. While the Company cannot predict with certainty the ultimate resolution of such proceedings or other claims asserted against the Company, certain of the claims, if adversely concluded, could result in substantial damages or other relief.
Claim relating to First Wind Acquisition
On May 27, 2016, D.E. Shaw Composite Holdings, L.L.C. and Madison Dearborn Capital Partners IV, L.P., as the representatives of the sellers (the “First Wind Sellers”) filed an amended complaint for declaratory judgment against TerraForm Power and Terra LLC in the Supreme Court of the State of New York alleging breach of contract with respect to the Purchase and Sale Agreement, dated as of November 17, 2014 (the “FW Purchase Agreement”) between, among others, SunEdison, TerraForm Power and Terra LLC and the First Wind Sellers. The amended complaint alleges that Terra LLC and SunEdison became jointly obligated to make $231.0 million in earn-out payments in respect of certain development assets SunEdison acquired from the First Wind Sellers under the FW Purchase Agreement, when those payments were purportedly accelerated by SunEdison’s bankruptcy and by the resignations of two SunEdison employees. The amended complaint further alleges that TerraForm Power, as guarantor of certain Terra LLC obligations under the FW Purchase Agreement, is liable for this sum. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint on July 5, 2016, on the ground that, among other things,