Insights
Firm News

Farella Braun + Martel Assists OptiSolar In $400 Million Solar Project Pipeline Sale To First Solar, Inc.

March 3, 2009 Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO/HAYWARD, CALIF. (March 3, 2009) - Farella Braun + Martel of San Francisco  represented privately held, Hayward, Calif.-based OptiSolar Inc. in an agreement worth $400 million in stock with Tempe, Ariz.-based First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) to acquire OptiSolar's multi-gigawatt, utility-scale solar project pipeline.  OptiSolar, founded in 2005, controls the rights to develop a number of solar power plants in the Western U.S, Canada and Europe, including the world's largest proposed photovoltaic solar project located in California.  Its sale to First Solar allows for an expedited solar project pipeline over the next several years, which will then be sold to a combination of regulated utilities, diversified energy companies and other independent power producers.

"OptiSolar's solar pipeline is critical to the advancement of California's - and even the country's - renewable energy initiatives, and its project portfolio sale to First Solar comes at a time when renewable energy and clean technology is a hot market for investment," said David Stoll, a partner at Farella Braun + Martel who has worked with the company since its inception.  "This is a win-win situation for both companies and our communities, as the deal will expedite development of critically needed renewable energy plants."

OptiSolar pursued the deal with First Solar because of its large-scale resources and expanded development team.  OptiSolar's core development team will join First Solar and will continue its business enterprise of developing silicon thin-film solar PV panels that significantly reduce the cost of clean solar power.  

"Combining the solar industry's cost-performance leader with a multi-gigawatt solar power project portfolio and the expertise of a world-class development team is a tremendous step forward for utility-scale PV solar generation," said Randy Goldstein, OptiSolar chief executive officer.

Farella Braun + Martel's legal team involved in this deal includes Corporate Partners Dan Cohn, Bruce Maximov, Samuel Dibble and David Stoll, as well as Corporate Associates Ryan Lowther and Philip Milestone; Environmental Partner David Lazerwitz; Tax Partners Brian Donnelly and Said Kordestani; and Real Estate Associates Karen Jue and Jeanne McKinney.

Media inquiries should be directed to:

Cheryl Loof - Farella Braun + Martel
Phone: 415-954-4433
[email protected]

Melinda Hepp / Traci Stuart - Blattel Communications
Phone: 415-397-4811
Email: [email protected] / [email protected]

About First Solar:

First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) manufactures solar modules with an advanced semiconductor technology and provides comprehensive photovoltaic (PV) solutions that significantly reduce solar electricity costs. By enabling clean, renewable electricity at competitive prices, First Solar provides an economic and environmentally responsible alternative to existing peaking fossil-fuel electric generation. First Solar PV power plants operate with no water or air emissions, and no waste stream. First Solar set the benchmark for environmentally responsible product life cycle management by introducing the industry's first comprehensive collection and recycling program for solar modules. From raw material sourcing through end-of-life collection and recycling, First Solar is focused on creating cost-effective renewable energy solutions that protect and enhance the environment. For more information about First Solar, please visit www.firstsolar.com.

About OptiSolar:

OptiSolar Inc. is California-based independent power producer committed to delivering clean, competitively priced electricity to the power grid from its large-scale solar farms, using its proprietary thin-film photovoltaic (PV) panels. A vertically integrated business model allows OptiSolar to significantly reduce the cost of renewable, high-volume solar energy. The company's headquarters, R&D operations, and first manufacturing facility are located in Hayward, California. Its second manufacturing facility, under construction in Sacramento, will be the largest PV solar panel plant in North America. OptiSolar has development offices in Canada, Europe, and Asia. For more information about OptiSolar, please visit the company's website at www.optisolar.com

OptiSolar is a trademark of OptiSolar Inc.

About Farella Braun + Martel:

Farella Braun + Martel represents clients throughout the United States and abroad in sophisticated business, real estate and environmental 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. www.fbm.com

Firm Highlights

Publication

CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Summary (Updated)

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was signed into law (the full 880-page text of the CARES Act passed by the Senate is available here...

Read More
Publication

San Francisco Now Requires 100% Renewable Energy for Commercial Buildings

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance this week requiring owners of all nonresidential buildings in San Francisco of at least 50,000 square feet to provide all on-site electricity demands from 100...

Read More
Publication

Wine Businesses, Lenders, and Difficult Conversations

The COVID-19 pandemic and public health efforts to combat it will impact different wine businesses in different ways. Those that depend on on-premise and direct-to-consumer (DTC) sales, such as restaurant, hospitality, and tasting room...

Read More
News

Farella Represents the Bundschu Company in its Acquisition of Valley of the Moon Winery

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel represented the Bundschu Company in its acquisition of the 60 acre winery and vineyard property at the historic Rancho Agua Caliente in Glen Ellen, California...

Read More
Publication

Changing Climate, Changing Laws: Addressing New Wildfire Risk Requirements in Project Development

In this op-ed for pv magazine, David Lazerwitz and Linda Sobczynski of Farella Braun + Martel examine the levels of precaution necessary to ensure fire risk mitigation in project development. The increasingly common occurrence...

Read More
Publication

Perfluorinated Compounds: No Longer an Emerging Contaminant

Lawsuits present major liability risks to PFAS manufacturers and industries that historically used PFAS in their operations. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFAS) are synthetic, human-made compounds that were manufactured in the United States beginning...

Read More
Publication

Force Majeure and Contractual Non-Performance During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Never in the experience of most of us has an event so thoroughly interrupted business as usual as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Everywhere, contract parties facing severe stress in their businesses are reassessing their contractual...

Read More
Publication

Unpacking California Solar Taxation: What to Know During Development

Development of solar projects in California has been spurred by California’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which requires that 60% of retail electricity sales must be served by renewable resources by 2030 and requires all...

Read More
Event

Coronavirus Was Unexpected, but Is It Force Majeure? (Webinar)

Join speakers, Matt Lewis and Janice Reicher, on the webinar discussing "Coronavirus Was Unexpected, but Is It Force Majeure?"

Read More
Publication

CARES Act Money for Wineries?

Beginning tomorrow morning, April 3 rd , the Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under the new CARES Act. Amid the flurry of news, small winery owners may...

Read More