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 Proposition 65 Warning Requirements for Cannabis and Hemp-Derived Products

Donald Sobelman and Wendy Hernandez discuss "New Proposition 65 Warning Requirements for Cannabis and Hemp-Derived Products." Proposition 65 requires “clear and reasonable” warnings in California for products containing chemicals on the State’s list of...

Read More
News

US Urged to Overhaul Public Land Rents, Siting to Bridge Renewables Gap

David Lazerwitz is quoted in the  Reuters Events article, " US Urged to Overhaul Public Land Rents, Siting to Bridge Renewables Gap." In the article, David said BLM needs to bring the cost of developing on federal...

Read More
Publication

Cannabis Farms in the Neighborhood: Water, Contaminants and Other Proximate Matters

Farella's Buzz Hines, and guest speakers Kari Campbell-Bohard from EpicVeg and Lompoc Valley Cooling and Robert Schultz from Geo Blue Consulting, for a discussion on "Cannabis Farms in the Neighborhood: Water, Contaminants and Other...

Read More
News

Farella Welcomes Christopher Rendall-Jackson to Energy + Infrastructure and Real Estate Industry Groups

Headshot of Chris Rendall-Jackson
Read More
Publication

New Statewide Winery Order: What Wineries Need to Know

Buzz Hines and John Ugai, along with guest speakers, Timothy Simpson and Mehran Ebrahimi from GSI Environmental Inc, discuss "New Statewide Winery Order: What Wineries Need to Know." The new statewide General Waste Discharge...

Read More
News

51 Farella Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

Forty-six Farella Braun + Martel lawyers were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America © .  Five Farella lawyers were named to Best Lawyers: Ones to...

Read More
News

Farella Represents Far Niente Winery in its Acquisition of Provenance Vineyards

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel represented Napa Valley luxury wine producer Far Niente Family of Wineries & Vineyards in its acquisition of the Provenance Vineyards real estate in Rutherford, Calif. from Treasury...

Read More
News

Farella Braun + Martel Earns 2022 U.S. News – Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms" Rankings

Northern California legal powerhouse Farella Braun + Martel earned national and regional rankings across several practice areas in the 2022 edition of U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® "Best Law Firms." The U.S. News...

Read More
Publication

AB 525: Laying the Foundation for California's Offshore Wind Industry

Through Assembly Bill (AB) 525, California joined the flurry of activity in the offshore wind industry in 2021 led by the Biden Administration. While offshore wind development in California has lagged behind efforts on...

Read More
News

Decision on Trump Rule Clears Way for Clean Water Act Revision

Sarah Bell spoke with Bloomberg Law for the article "Decision on Trump Rule Clears Way for Clean Water Act Revision" discussing the implications of a federal court’s decision to vacate the 2020 Clean Water Act...

Read More