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.

The State Corporation Commission

Green power for suckers program gets SCC approval

By: - November 8, 2019

Virginia’s State Corporation Commission has approved Dominion Energy Virginia’s request to offer a new product to electric utility customers who want to buy renewable energy at a discount but lack the knowledge to understand when they are being taken for chumps.  “Rider REC” is an ultra-cheap version of the company’s Green Power Program (itself of […]


Virginia is all-in on offshore wind but Dominion’s decision raises questions about cost, competence

By: - November 4, 2019

It’s not every day that the names of a major utility and the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization share space on a banner. But at the American Wind Energy Association’s annual offshore wind conference earlier this month in Boston, the logos of the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club and Dominion Energy bookended those of […]


On energy efficiency, unfortunately, utilities remain in the driver’s seat

By: - October 11, 2019

There’s bad news for Virginians looking to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels: The job just got 2% harder. That’s the percentage increase in electricity use in Virginia over the past year, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA).  The increase was driven by the continuation of a three-year upward trend in […]


A closer look at a cascade of clean energy announcements in Virginia

By: - September 27, 2019

Is Virginia off to the clean energy races? Last week saw a cascade of clean energy announcements in Virginia. On Tuesday, Governor Northam issued an Executive Order aimed at achieving 30 percent renewable energy by 2030 and 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050, and with near-term state procurement targets.  On Thursday, Dominion Energy announced it […]

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

Ignoring state climate rules, Dominion decides what carbon regulations should look like

By: - September 13, 2019

For several years now, Dominion Energy Virginia has factored into its plans an assumption that electricity from carbon-emitting power plants will eventually include a cost reflecting CO2’s role as the primary driver of global warming. Dominion says it has even integrated this into its corporate goals, targeting an 80 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by […]


On climate change, we’re all in this together

By: - August 21, 2019

Chances are, the people you know who call themselves environmentalists also celebrate racial diversity and think the U.S. should welcome immigrants and refugees. What, then, are we to make of white nationalists who invoke environmental concerns to justify acts of violence against immigrants? Recent news articles tell us the suspect in the El Paso massacre […]


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. […]