When Albina Head Start learned it was awarded a Blue Sky Fund grant to install a rooftop solar array on one of its buildings, it turned to its long-time pro bono legal partner, Tonkon Torp. The nonprofit organization knew that it would need legal guidance to ensure that it could meet the terms laid out in the grant’s detailed and binding Memo of Understanding.
As the lead relationship attorney, Owen Blank oversaw the general business elements of the project. Ned Perry, a member of Tonkon Torp’s Real Estate Litigation and Construction Litigation practice groups, reviewed the agreement between Albina Head Start and the construction firm that would install the 150 Oregon-made solar panels and connect the array to the power grid. David Petersen and Kimberlee Stafford, members of Tonkon Torp’s Energy Law and Real Estate & Land Use practice groups, reviewed real estate issues and the documents relating to the net metering agreement required for the project.
Coincidentally, the building selected for the solar array installation was the Owen D. Blank Center, which houses Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The building was named after Owen Blank in 2014, in recognition of his 20+ years of providing pro bono legal services to Albina Head Start.
The construction and conversion of the solar installation has now concluded and the Owen D. Blank Center now draws 70% of its annual electricity use from the solar array. Albina Head Start, one of Tonkon Torp’s longest standing pro bono clients, currently assists more than 1,000 low-income children and their families in North, Northeast, and Southeast Portland, providing social and education services to optimize children’s school readiness, health, and education success. Tonkon Torp attorneys are proud to support the organization as it implements innovative initiatives to better serve the community.