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

What’s up with the SCC and gas?

By: - December 14, 2018

Dominion Energy Virginia employees were briefing a stakeholder group on the company’s Integrated Resource Plan last Friday morning when text messages started popping up on phones all over the room: the State Corporation Commission had just rejected the IRP and ordered a do-over. Awkward. The SCC has never rejected a Dominion IRP before, mostly because […]

COMMENTARY

It’s time for the General Assembly to side with customers, not utilities, on solar

By: - December 7, 2018

Last year, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation giving utilities the green light to develop 5,000 megawatts of wind and solar energy. This marks a milestone for Virginia, offering the possibility for an amount of solar equal in output to Dominion Energy’s newest gas-fired power plant in Greensville. Dominion projects the 1,588 megawatt Greensville plant […]

COMMENTARY

Amazon will need even more energy in Virginia. Will they make it clean?

By: - November 26, 2018

Amazon Web Services jump-started the utility solar industry in Virginia in 2015, when it announced plans for its first solar farm in Accomack County. Three years later, Amazon remains (for now) the biggest purchaser of solar in the commonwealth, allowing it to offset some of the enormous amount of energy used by its data centers. […]

COMMENTARY

Offshore wind: If it’s Dominion’s way or the highway, we have to do it Dominion’s way

By: - November 5, 2018

The Virginia State Corporation Commission on Friday approved Dominion Energy Virginia’s proposed Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project, but not happily. A news release from the SCC complains about the “excessive costs” of the two turbines about 27 miles off the coast of Virginia Beach and the way it is structured to make customers, rather than […]

COMMENTARY

The Northam administration wants a ‘prominent role’ for Virginia in offshore wind. Can they pull it off?

By: - October 22, 2018

Virginia is looking to assume a “prominent role” in the developing U.S. East Coast offshore wind industry, in large part by collaborating with neighboring states. That was the message Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy Director John Warren brought to the two-day American Wind Energy Association offshore wind conference last week in Washington, D.C. […]

COMMENTARY
Gov. Ralph Northam

There’s a lot to like in Northam’s energy plan, but missed opportunities abound

By: - October 15, 2018

There is a lot to like in the Northam administration’s new Virginia Energy Plan, starting with what is not in it. The plan doesn’t throw so much as a bone to the coal industry, and the only plug for fracked gas comes in the discussion of alternatives to petroleum in transportation. The 2018 Energy Plan […]

COMMENTARY

Will Virginia be late to the offshore wind party?

By: - September 28, 2018

Nearly 200 government leaders, academics, and business people packed the Virginia Offshore Wind Executive Summit in Norfolk last week to stake their claims in the launch of Virginia’s newest industry. “The offshore wind market is exploding,” said Liz Burdock, executive director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind, in her opening remarks. If this sounds […]

COMMENTARY

After Dominion’s big overhaul, how much oversight do regulators retain over utility spending?

By: - September 24, 2018

It’s no secret that the State Corporation Commission didn’t like this year’s big energy bill, the Grid Transformation and Security Act. SCC staff testified against SB 966 in committee, and their objections played a major role in amendments removing the “double dip” provision that would have let Dominion Energy Virginia get paid twice for infrastructure […]

COMMENTARY

Are state utility regulators at last ready to embrace customer-owned solar?

By: - September 20, 2018

Almost four years ago, Virginia’s State Corporation Commission approved a request from Appalachian Power to impose “standby charges” on grid-connected homeowners who installed solar arrays between 10 and 20 kilowatts. The approval came not long after the SCC had given the same authority to Dominion Power (now Dominion Energy Virginia). The standby charges, dubbed a […]

Dominion’s community solar program approved by Virginia regulators

By: - September 14, 2018

The State Corporation Commission has approved Dominion Energy Virginia’s so-called community solar pilot program, under which the utility will offer its residential and commercial customers the output of solar farms to be built by independent solar developers here in Virginia. Customers will have the option to meet either all or part of their entire electric […]

COMMENTARY

Virginia’s high court passes on chance to stand up to Dominion for conflicts of interest on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

By: - August 24, 2018

Many Virginia leaders seem to have the notion that if our environment is being polluted and ordinary people are having their land destroyed, that must be good for business. And as a corollary, if a business wants to pollute the environment and destroy private land, that must be good for Virginia. So maybe it shouldn’t […]

COMMENTARY

On the heels of its big legislative win, what kind of grid does Dominion want to build for us?

By: - August 6, 2018

Imagine that you have hired a builder to design and build you a three-story house. He brings you the plans for the first floor and proposes to start work right away. “These look okay,” you say, “but I need to see the plans for the whole house.” “Don’t you worry about that,” says the builder. […]