Insights
Firm News

Farella Braun + Martel Advises First Solar on the Sale of the 550MW Topaz Solar Farm Development

December 7, 2011 Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO, December 7, 2011: Farella Braun + Martel LLP served as First Solar’s environmental, real estate and permitting counsel on the development of First Solar, Inc.’s Topaz Solar Farm, a 550-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic power plant being built in San Luis Obispo County, Calif., and on the development aspects of the sale agreement signed with MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company.  The power plant will have the capacity to generate enough renewable energy to power approximately 160,000 average California homes.  The Topaz project is one of the two largest PV projects in the world, both being built by First Solar and both with Farella Braun + Martel as development counsel.

First Solar News Release

As First Solar's go-to development counsel for real estate, environmental, and project permitting needs, Farella assisted First Solar in securing the necessary permits, environmental approvals and rights required from local, state, and federal government agencies for the Topaz project to be approved and constructed, including those required by San Luis Obispo County, the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The firm advised First Solar on site control, including the negotiation of land options and acquisitions of real property for approximately 3,500 acres of project land and approximately 19,000 acres of land to be protected and preserved, and assisted First Solar in negotiating agreements with national and local environmental organizations addressing environmental concerns.

Farella’s legal team for First Solar’s Topaz project was led by Environmental Partner Skip Spaulding and Real Estate Partner Richard Rabbitt, and included Environmental Partners Jon Benjamin and David Lazerwitz, Land Use Special Counsel Ilene Dick, Environmental Associates Mathew Swain and Matthew Bostick, Real Estate Associates Karen Jue, Brett Greenberg, and Navjot Athwal, Senior Real Estate Paralegal Scott Leonard and Senior Environmental Paralegal Jordan Van Druff. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP’s New York office advised First Solar on the corporate and commercial aspects of the sale.

Farella Braun + Martel represents clients throughout the United States and abroad in sophisticated business transactions and high-stakes commercial, civil and criminal litigation. Founded in 1962, the firm is headquartered in San Francisco and maintains an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry. Farella Braun + Martel lawyers are known for their imaginative legal solutions, dynamism and intellectual creativity. With an unwavering service ethic and interdisciplinary team approach, the firm is committed to advancing clients' objectives in the most effective, coordinated and efficient manner. Farella Braun + Martel is a green business.


Contacts:
Melinda Hepp / Traci Stuart 
Blattel Communications
415.397.4811 
[email protected] / [email protected]

Cheryl Loof
Farella Braun + Martel LLP
415.954.4433
[email protected]

Firm Highlights

Publication

New PFAS Federal Drinking Water Standards Create Major Liability and Litigation Risk

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has released a final regulation setting individual drinking water maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) for five per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These MCLs are incredibly stringent due to EPA’s stated concerns...

Read More
News

Farella Announces 2024 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Pathfinders: Taylor Rottjakob and John Ugai

Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that senior associates  Taylor E. Rottjakob and John M. Ugai have been named 2024 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Pathfinders. Pathfinders have been identified as...

Read More
Publication

Where Are We Now, Following Maui County, Sackett, and the Latest EPA Guidance?

The last few years have seen significant developments in our understanding of the reach of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). (Indeed, “reach” here can be interpreted literally and figuratively.) The two issues plaguing...

Read More
News

EPA Designates PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances

Don Sobelman provided expert commentary in the  Chemical & Engineering News article "EPA Designates PFOA and PFOS as Hazardous Substances." Excerpt from the article: Lawyers are warning anyone purchasing an industrial site where PFOA...

Read More
Publication

New PFAS Listing Under Superfund Will Lead to Major Expansion of Liability

On April 19, 2024, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) announced its final rule designating perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) as hazardous substances under Section 102(a) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation...

Read More
Event

17th Annual Santa Fe Advanced Conference: Natural Resource Damages

Farella Braun + Martel is a sponsor of the Law Seminars and Internationals' 17th Annual "Santa Fe" Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages.  Sarah Bell, a program co-chair, will participate on two panels: "Best...

Read More
News

Lawdragon Names 7 Farella Lawyers Among “Leaders in Environmental Law”

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that seven lawyers were selected to The Lawdragon Green 500: 2024 Leaders in Environmental Law . Farella lawyers selected for inclusion: Sarah...

Read More
Event

17th Annual Santa Fe Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages

Farella Braun + Martel is a sponsor of the Law Seminars and Internationals' 17th Annual "Santa Fe" Advanced Conference on Natural Resource Damages.  Christopher Rendall-Jackson will participate on a panel titled "The Latest on the...

Read More
News

Chambers USA 2024 Recognizes Farella Braun + Martel Lawyers, Practices

Farella Braun + Martel is pleased to announce that Chambers USA has recognized 16 lawyers and six practice areas in the legal directory’s 2024 edition. Individual California and Western U.S. Rankings: Sarah Bell &ndash...

Read More
Publication

Wind Energy Project Approvals and Tax Credits Look To Outpace Macroeconomic and Supply Chain Headwinds in 2024

A snapshot of the renewable wind industry on October 31, 2023, captures many of the current challenges and opportunities for the industry and regulatory agencies heading into 2024.  That day, the world’s largest offshore...

Read More