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.


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 […]


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 […]


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. […]


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 […]


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. […]

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 […]