The Silicon Valley-based law firm of Cooley Godward Kronish has just brought online the largest on-site solar system of any Bay Area law firm.  The 465 panel, 87 kW system was installed on the roof of their Palo Alto-Hanover building of 130,000 sf.  Installing a solar system of this size has almost lost its newsworthiness, especially with tons of companies placing monster solar arrays in service by the end of this year to take advantage of the tax benefits.  But what’s really interesting, I think, is one of the reasons the firm decided to generate some on-site green power: their clients are in this business and inspired them to go green. 

Eric Jensen, Palo Alto partner and business department chair, said, "With eight offices nationwide and 1,500 attorneys and staff, we are focused on cost-effective ways to reduce our energy consumption and environmental impact … in addition, we count as clients in our clean technology practice some of the leading entrepreneurs and investors in the world, who have further inspired all of us at Cooley to do our part."

So law firms aren’t limiting their activities to recycling programs, two-sided printing, CFL swapouts, hybrid car purchasing incentives, and the like.  They’re taking a page from their clients and going greener with their buildings.  That is, in addition to facilitating green transactions and innovation all over the country. 

What comes next is the domino effect.  Any law firm with a clean tech, climate change, sustainable development, or venture fund practice group will need to install solar and make their buildings greener.  It’s already happening on both the East and West Coast, but watch for this activity to increase. 

[+] Silicon Valley Law Firm Installs Large PV System [REC Solar]