Author

Ivy Main

Ivy Main

Ivy Main is a lawyer and a longtime volunteer with the Sierra Club's Virginia chapter. A former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee, she is currently the Sierra Club's renewable energy chairperson. Her opinions are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of any organization.

COMMENTARY

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em? Dominion Energy begins selling residential solar

By: - June 17, 2022

Dominion Energy never used to be happy about customers producing their own energy from solar. “Hostile” is more the word that springs to mind. The company has traditionally seen privately owned solar arrays as competition: The more solar panels people put on their roofs, the less electricity they buy from their utility. But Virginia has […]

COMMENTARY

West Virginia wants to raise Virginia power bills

By: - June 10, 2022

Most people are aware by now that inflation has hit the energy sector hard, with fossil fuels in particular skyrocketing in price over the past year. Dominion Energy Virginia, the state’s dominant utility, says it needs to charge residential customers an extra $14.93 per month on average to cover higher natural gas prices. Appalachian Power, […]

COMMENTARY

Not a great time to roll out Dominion’s pricey solar tariff

By: - May 16, 2022

Well, that didn’t take long. A few weeks after I wrote about rising natural gas prices, Dominion Energy Virginia asked the SCC for permission to raise the price of electricity by about $9 per month for the average residential customers, citing higher fuel costs. Virginia law allows utilities to pass through its fuel costs to […]

COMMENTARY

What new Virginia laws reveal about how the natural gas industry sees its future 

By: - April 21, 2022

Natural gas is having a moment. The war in Ukraine spotlighted Europe’s heavy reliance on Russian gas and the challenge of replacing it with new supplies from elsewhere. Suddenly the Biden administration, after talking so much about the need to get off fossil fuels, wants to expand oil and gas production and boost exports of […]

COMMENTARY

Keep an eye on costs, but Virginia needs offshore wind

By: - April 1, 2022

A massive wind farm 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach moved one giant step closer to reality last November when Dominion Energy filed its Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind development plan with the State Corporation Commission. Dominion expects to begin construction on CVOW in 2024, and have all 2,587 megawatts of power connected to […]

COMMENTARY

Dominion’s proposed charge for solar program is absurdly high

By: - March 10, 2022

A Dominion Energy customer wrote me recently to ask what her condo association could do to go solar. The building’s roof can hold many more solar panels than needed to power the needs of the common area. Is it possible to sell the excess electricity to individual residents to power their units? I get this […]

COMMENTARY

The GOP offensive against climate action begins

By: - January 20, 2022

Even before taking office, Gov. Glenn Youngkin made two rookie mistakes: he declared his intention to pull Virginia out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative by executive order, not realizing it can only be done by legislation; and he nominated the much-reviled Trump-era EPA chief Andrew Wheeler to be his secretary of natural resources, apparently […]

COMMENTARY

Has Virginia’s energy transition hit a roadblock, or just a rough patch of pavement?

By: - November 16, 2021

The election was a tough day for climate advocates. After two years of historic progress that included passage of the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA), the centerpiece of the Commonwealth’s plan to decarbonize the electric sector by 2050, voters handed a narrow victory to its critics. Republicans take over as governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general […]

COMMENTARY

Electric regulators should reject fixed-charge increases

By: - October 5, 2021

Okay, folks, the kids are back in school, so in their honor we are all going to do a word problem!  Bob Rich lives in a sprawling subdivision of large, single-family homes. Bob has a pool and a hot tub and outdoor lights he keeps on all night. Bob’s four children have loads of electronic […]

COMMENTARY

Tired of subsidies?

By: - September 14, 2021

Some while back I was engaged in an online discussion with other solar advocates about renewable energy — specifically, how to get more of it built. Some of the participants I knew, others I did not. The conversation was lively, ranging from the need for better education to public policy and incentives. But then one […]

COMMENTARY

What do we owe to each other?

By: - August 27, 2021

The politicization of coronavirus vaccines and mask-wearing has been a depressing reminder of the downside of American individualism. The successful functioning of a free republic depends on people taking personal responsibility for their actions. Too often now that translates into a disregard for the rights of others, coupled with an insistence that our own opinions, […]

COMMENTARY
The State Corporation Commission

Legislators built a solar program for apartment dwellers. The SCC gutted it.

By: - July 15, 2021

The State Corporation Commission recently finalized regulations for the Multifamily Shared Solar Program, created by the General Assembly to give residents of apartment buildings and condominiums the ability to use solar energy from panels installed on their buildings. But in implementing the program, the SCC also made sure it can never be used.   Dominion Energy […]