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

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 […]

COMMENTARY

With a federal windfall incoming, Virginia should require school districts to build to green standards

By: - June 23, 2021

More than $4.3 billion in federal stimulus dollars will be flowing to Virginia this year as part of the American Rescue Plan, with cities and counties in line for another $2.7 billion. In a joint statement in May, Governor Northam and Democratic leaders laid out spending priorities that included rehabilitating and upgrading the infrastructure in […]

COMMENTARY

Protecting utility profits is the point

By: - June 10, 2021

Four things happened after I wrote last week about Power for Tomorrow’s strange advertising campaign attacking Clean Virginia. The Fredericksburg Freelance-Star ran an op-ed from Power for Tomorrow’s executive director, Gary C. Meltz, opposing deregulation in the electric sector; the Virginia Mercury ran a response to my article from Mr. Meltz; another mailer arrived from […]

COMMENTARY

What’s with the scary ads about threats to your power service? 

By: - June 2, 2021

It’s campaign season in Virginia, with primary elections coming up on June 6. But in addition to all the candidate flyers arriving in mailboxes, Virginia residents have been receiving another kind of mailer with a message unrelated to the election. Oversized, campaign-style postcards from an entity calling itself Power for Tomorrow warn, “Clean Virginia wants […]

COMMENTARY

Lots of ‘renewable’ options for energy consumers, but why are so few of them any good?

By: - May 21, 2021

Virginia residents who want to do right by the planet are confronted with a bewildering array of renewable energy and “green power” options. Unfortunately, few of these programs actually deliver renewable energy. People who want the gold standard — electricity from new wind and solar projects — are completely out of luck if their utility […]

COMMENTARY

Ten questions Dominion should answer (but probably won’t)

By: - April 30, 2021

Dominion Energy will be holding its annual shareholder meeting virtually on May 5. For the most part these meetings are scripted and self-congratulatory, but they also make space for individual shareholders to ask questions. For ordinary people who may own just a small number of shares in the company, this may be the only time […]

COMMENTARY

What would a carbon-free grid look like for Virginia?

By: - April 16, 2021

Joe Biden wants a carbon-free electric grid by 2035. What does that look like in Virginia? Virginia’s General Assembly made history in 2020 by becoming the first state in the South to pass a law requiring the full decarbonization of its electric sector. The Virginia Clean Economy Act requires our two largest utilities, Dominion Energy […]

COMMENTARY

An April 1 energy solution

By: - April 1, 2021

One of the most exciting areas of energy technology today is storage. With wind and solar now the leading sources of new energy capacity in the U.S., maximizing their potential in the future depends on the development of storage solutions with different durations and applications.  We tend to think first of batteries, a form of […]

COMMENTARY
The Virginia State Capitol.. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

The General Assembly made progress on climate in 2021, but our work here is hardly done

By: - March 5, 2021

Before the start of the 2021 legislative session, I highlighted three areas where Virginia needed to make significant progress to support its climate agenda: transportation electrification, improving the energy efficiency of buildings and giving consumers greater access to renewable energy.  The General Assembly delivered on one-and-a-half out of three. If we add bonus points for […]