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.

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. […]


For job creation, solar is a winner: Virginia’s solar jobs rose nine percent in 2018

By: - February 14, 2019

The Solar Foundation has released its National Solar Jobs Census for 2018, showing solar jobs in Virginia increased from 3,565 in 2017 to 3,890 in 2017, an increase of nine percent. That puts Virginia 20th in the nation for solar jobs, though only 34th if measured on a per capita basis. Nationwide, solar job numbers […]


As Virginia prepares to join carbon-trading states, arguments erupt over the price of admission

By: - February 6, 2019

Virginia won’t enter the nine-state carbon emissions trading program known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative until 2020 under regulations being finalized by the state, but debate about how much it might cost utility ratepayers is already heating up. Estimates range from little or no cost — or even a cost savings — to as […]


Your guide to clean energy and climate bills this session (blink and you might miss them)

By: - January 17, 2019

Clean energy and climate action are mainstream concepts with the public these days, but at Virginia’s General Assembly they have yet to gain much traction. Last year saw one renewable energy bill after another die in committee, along with legislation mandating lower energy use through energy efficiency and climate measures like having Virginia join the […]


Appalachian Power gets approval to sell 100 percent renewable energy to customers. Hold the champagne.

By: - January 10, 2019

This week the State Corporation Commission  approved a request from Appalachian Power Company  to offer its more than 500,000 Virginia customers the option of buying electricity entirely from renewable sources. The sources will be primarily wind and hydro, with some solar to be added as it gets built. Participants who opt in will pay a premium […]


All I want for Christmas is a 500 megawatt offshore wind farm

By: - December 24, 2018

Yes, you will say I have expensive taste. But it’s not for me, it’s for the children! Picture their shining faces on Christmas morning when they find Santa has delivered 62 Siemens Gamesa 8-megawatt, pitch-regulated, variable speed offshore wind turbines, sporting a rotor diameter of 167 meters each, to a patch of ocean 27 miles […]


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 […]