2012 was a year of full-scale retreat for most renewable energy developers, both in Oregon and nationwide. Key tax credits and other incentives had expired or were expiring, and low natural gas prices kept demand for renewables low. This did not deter local developer Obsidian Renewables
, however, and after resolving litigation with the Oregon Department of Energy, Obsidian held two of the last usable Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit (BETC) pre-certifications for solar energy projects. Recent legislation had accelerated the expiration date of the pre-certifications, requiring that Obsidian construct and put its projects into service by October 1, 2012. Tonkon Torp's Energy and Corporate practice groups managed complex, time-sensitive negotiations with a myriad of parties, including regional utilities, local interconnection and transmission providers, general contractors and financing parties to complete the successful development, construction, sale and commencement of operations of three separate projects on time to realize the BETC tax credits and other incentives. These new projects now collectively provide over 7 megawatts of new solar energy in Oregon's Lake County.
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