April 20, 2022

The Washington, DC, region’s largest urban solar array is coming to The Catholic University of America, after years of collaboration between the University and a cross-practice Jenner & Block team committed to combating climate change.

The array, sited on more than 40 acres in Northeast DC, will generate approximately 10,000 megawatt hours of renewable energy annually, saving 7.115 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. That’s the equivalent of removing 1,547 cars from the road annually or eliminating the carbon dioxide emissions from more than 800,000 gallons of gasoline.

Construction will begin this summer and after its expected completion in spring of 2023, the solar array will be a significant contributor towards the District’s goal of using 100% renewable energy by 2032. Catholic University students will access the site for energy production research and local K-12 students will have STEM field trip opportunities to learn about sustainability, renewable energy, and environmental stewardship.

Beginning as a pro bono project in 2019, Jenner & Block worked with University leaders for more than two years to determine the feasibility of the project and find the right developer. Since 2021, our team has advised on contract, interconnection, and permit issues, was instrumental in obtaining approval from the DC Zoning Commission, and resolved multiple tax and bond issues, making the project financially beneficial to the University.

The result? An all-around win in the battle against climate change – for the environment, DC residents, and the University.

The cross-practice team on this climate change project includes Partners Suedeen G. Kelly, Geoffrey M. Davis, Michelle M. McAtee, Alexander J. May, and Gail H. Morse and Associates Marjorie R. Kennedy and Zachary B. Cohen.