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
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 […]

COMMENTARY

In the aftermath of a devastating winter storm, can we take lessons from Texas? 

By: - February 25, 2021

It is never fun to see our fellow Americans suffer, whether it’s from pandemic diseases or weather disasters. Our hearts go out to the residents of Texas who suffered without electricity and heat for days, some of them also without safe drinking water, and a few of them even dying from exposure, fires or carbon […]

COMMENTARY

At General Assembly’s halftime, consumers hold a narrow lead

By: - February 8, 2021

Virginia is, famously, a state that prides itself on being business-friendly. That makes it all the more interesting that a number of bills favoring consumers have made it through the House. Democrats have led the charge, but several of the bills earned bipartisan support even in the face of utility opposition.  This doesn’t guarantee their […]

COMMENTARY

An early look at climate and energy bills in the 2021 session

By: - January 4, 2021

Last year Virginia’s General Assembly passed more than 30 separate clean energy bills, which together put Virginia on a path to zero-carbon electricity by 2050, enabled massive investments in renewable energy, storage and energy efficiency and eased restrictions on distributed solar.  But many of the bills that passed were not perfect, and most of the […]