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.


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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, […]

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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]