Notable Victories Detail Banner
All Notable Victories

Quinn Emanuel Associates Help Secure Approval of Largest Solar Project in the U.S.

May 2024

Quinn Emanuel recently played a key role in the approval of the country’s largest solar project, Oak Run Solar, securing an estimated $35 million in future union wages for its pro bono client IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local Union 683.

Before Oak Run could move forward, the OPSB (Ohio Power Siting Board) had to make a finding that the 6,000 acre project, located in three Ohio townships, would serve the public interest.  Oak Run would generate tens of millions of dollars in wages for construction and operation, provide millions of dollars annually to surrounding municipalities, and incorporate an unprecedented commitment to agrivoltaics, or the dual use of land for solar energy production and agriculture. Despite these economic and climate benefits, the project found itself in the crosshairs of an organized, well-funded, and highly politicized opposition effort. This vocal opposition led the three Townships to intervene in opposition to the project with a sizeable portion of their legal fees being paid by an as-yet unidentified “private individual.” 

Quinn Emanuel associates Daniel Loud and Andrew Shifren traveled to the OPSB hearing in Columbus Ohio to take the direct testimony of two IBEW Local 683 leaders and to cross-examine township witnesses hostile to the project.

The OPSB opinion, entered on March 21, 2024, based its approval of Oak Run in part on IBEW’s testimony about the significant economic and jobs benefits of the project, as well as the damning evidence, elicited on cross-examination, that the Townships had not even deigned to read the project Application.

Local opposition, frequently spurred by misinformation from interest groups with unknown sources of funding, is the single most important roadblock preventing the buildout of new green energy projects.