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Tonkon Torp Helps Advance 700-Megawatt Solar Project in San Joaquin Valley

The term "Oregon solar energy lawyer" may sound like an oxymoron, but there is no denying that the attorneys in Tonkon Torp's Energy Practice Group know how to put alternative energy deals together.

Tonkon Torp's team, led by David Petersen, represented the land owners in negotiating option agreements with several solar power companies to develop over 4,800 acres of land in the San Joaquin Valley. The acreage represents a collection of parcels that were deemed unsuitable for farming because of lack of water. The 700-megawatt project, known as Maricopa Sun, is expected to consistently generate enough solar power for 300,000 homes.

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed the project, saying, "California needs the 'Maricopa Sun' project to help us meet our clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction objectives." Kern County officials approved a conditional use permit for the project on March 29.

Petersen co-chairs Tonkon Torp's 14-attorney interdisciplinary Energy Practice Group, which provides counsel to both renewable and "traditional" energy companies, government entities, manufacturers and operators. His own practice is focused on renewable energy development, land use and local government law. He has provided counsel on utility-scale solar and wind energy projects across the nation.

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