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.


Fairfax County plans a historic solar buy—if Dominion Energy doesn’t stand in the way

By: - August 1, 2019

In June, Fairfax County announced it was seeking proposals from solar companies to install solar at up to 130 county-owned facilities and schools, with another 100 sites to be considered for a later round. The request for proposals (RFP) covers solar on building roofs, ground-mounted solar and solar canopies over parking lots. This massive solar […]


Dominion Energy’s new programs are really about limiting choices

By: - July 22, 2019

An annual survey conducted by Yale and George Mason universities shows concern about climate change is surging. Seventy-three percent of Americans think climate change is happening, and 69% are at least somewhat worried about it, the highest percentages since the surveys began in 2011.  Another Yale survey found that “a large majority of registered voters […]

Dominion’s carbon cutting plans aren’t good enough

By: - July 14, 2019

Mercury readers will be shocked, shocked to learn that contrary to Dominion Energy’s propaganda, the company plans to cut carbon emissions by only about 1% per year between now and 2030, a slower pace than it has achieved in the past.  According to an analysis of Dominion’s own data by the Energy and Policy Institute, […]


Customer-owned utilities should be leaders on clean energy. Why do most of them fail to deliver? 

By: - June 30, 2019

More than one in six Virginia residents gets electricity from a rural electric cooperative rather than a big investor-owned utility like Dominion Energy or Appalachian Power. Co-ops don’t get much attention from clean energy advocates and the press, but that might be a mistake. Co-op members aren’t just customers; they’re owners. In theory, that should […]


At long last, Dominion decides it’s game on for offshore wind

By: - May 30, 2019

When utility regulators gave Dominion Energy Virginia the go-ahead to build two offshore wind turbines last November, it was still unclear whether the pilot project might be the end as well as the beginning of offshore wind in Virginia. Now, however, Dominion seems to have decided it’s game on. Although the company hasn’t issued any […]


Green energy and greenwashing

By: - May 20, 2019

Recently I criticized a Dominion Energy advertisement that boasted, misleadingly and inaccurately, about the company’s investments in solar energy. By contrast, the company’s investments in greenwashing are transparent and heartfelt. Dominion has had several bad months here in Virginia and would very much like to change the conversation. In fact, the company’s problems keep mounting. […]

Dominion Energy's downtown Richmond building. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Dominion keeps trying to pull the wool over our eyes

By: - May 5, 2019

When your kid greets you at the door with the cheery news that he’s swept the floor for you without being asked, you are probably right to wonder which breakable item is no longer in its usual place.   I have the same feeling about the series of full-page ads Dominion Energy has taken out […]


Ranking of green states puts Virginia right at ‘meh’

By: - April 16, 2019

It seems like every time some organization publishes a ranking of states according to their green energy achievements, Virginia gets listed as an also-ran. We’re 26th in energy efficiency, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The U.S. Department of Energy lists us 37th for renewable energy. Our bright spot is in solar […]


In a last-ditch effort to stop climate regulations, Virginia Republicans try legislating by budget amendment

By: - March 31, 2019

Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration is finalizing regulations to reduce the carbon pollution from Virginia power plants by 30 percent between 2020 and 2030. The Department of Environmental Quality estimates the move will cost consumers only about a dollar per month while accelerating the transition to clean energy. (Virginia’s State Corporation Commission has a very different […]

The State Corporation Commission

A revised generation plan leaves Dominion’s case for its pipeline in shambles

By: - March 20, 2019

In December of last year, regulators at the State Corporation Commission took the unprecedented step of rejecting Dominion Energy Virginia’s Integrated Resource Plan. Among other reasons, the SCC said the utility had inflated projections of how much electricity its customers would use in the future. On March 8, Dominion came back with a revised plan. […]

A storm passes over the Capitol. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury - Sept. 11, 2018)

How the General Assembly failed Virginia again on clean energy

By: - March 11, 2019

When the General Assembly session opened Jan. 9, legislators were presented with dozens of bills designed to save money for consumers, lower energy consumption, provide more solar options and set us on a pathway to an all-renewables future. Almost none of these measures passed, while bills that benefited utilities kept up their track record of […]


Growth in data centers overpowers Virginia’s renewable energy gains

By: - February 15, 2019

Almost 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic passes through data centers in Loudoun County on a daily basis. More than 100 massive data centers, over 10 million square feet of building space, dot the Northern Virginia landscape around Dulles Airport in what is known as “Data Center Alley.” And the industry is growing fast. […]