Preparing for the unexpected

BY: - September 27, 2023

By MaryAnn E. Tierney As an emergency manager, I spend my day preparing the mid-Atlantic for the unexpected – and in my work, the unexpected can be deadly. A summer shower can quickly turn to dangerous flash flooding. A dropped cigarette can ignite a wildfire. A hurricane can make landfall on the Gulf Coast and […]

Dominion proposes pilot to test longer-lasting battery storage

BY: - September 26, 2023

Dominion Energy is seeking regulatory approval for a battery storage pilot that would be capable of discharging stored power over longer periods of time than its current technology allows, a development seen as a key component of the transition to renewable energy. At its Darbytown Power Station in Henrico County, Dominion wants to try out […]


Utility-scale solar is coming to a farm near you

BY: - September 21, 2023

By Robert “Bobby” Whitescarver We are undergoing a wonderful, historic, frustrating and devastating transition to renewable energy. Solar panels will be on buildings and parking lots, and in highway medians, landfills, and brownfields. Utility-scale solar should be installed in those places before we put it on farmland. But that’s not what’s happening. Like it or […]

After Hurley and Whitewood floods, Virginia considers state relief fund

BY: - September 20, 2023

Over the past two years, two major deluges in the towns of Hurley and Whitewood in Southwest Virginia have caused catastrophic flooding that left dozens of homes destroyed and one woman dead.  But as the communities have struggled to rebuild, federal relief has been limited. In response, state legislators have dipped into state funds earmarked […]


A bright spot at the intersection of farming, electric vehicles and solar energy

BY: - September 19, 2023

The energy transition is in full swing across the U.S. and the world, but the changes now underway are not simple or linear. In an economy as complex and connected as ours, progress in one area will often affect other parts of the economy, creating winners and losers.  And then there are the changes that […]

Dominion to seek air permit for proposed Chesterfield gas plant

BY: - September 14, 2023

Dominion Energy’s plans to build a new natural gas plant in Chesterfield will require a state permit for major new sources of emissions, state air quality regulators said Wednesday. Mike Dowd, the Department of Environmental Quality’s director of air and renewable energy, told the State Air Pollution Control Board the plant will require a prevention […]

Virginia starts requiring poultry litter producers and brokers to report sales

BY: - September 13, 2023

Virginia farmers who produce poultry litter for sale and brokers who transfer it must now send the state Department of Environmental Quality annual information about those transactions to better track what pollutants may be entering the Chesapeake Bay. Poultry litter is the combination of manure, leftover bedding and uneaten feed from flocks that can be […]

Data and funds made available in Va. to improve tree cover in the Chesapeake Bay watershed

BY: - September 11, 2023

A collaboration between researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Vermont and Chesapeake Conservancy has determined the Chesapeake Bay watershed is rapidly losing tree cover to expanding urban and suburban development. By analyzing high-resolution satellite imagery between 2013 and 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Program Land Use and Land Cover Data Project publicly tracked for […]

Was that chicken cutlet grown in a lab? These states want you to know.

BY: - September 11, 2023

Select U.S. restaurants have begun serving laboratory-grown chicken, spurring long wait times for reservations by diners curious to taste it. In June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave final approval for a few California-based companies to begin selling lab-produced chicken across the country. While it may be years before lab-grown meat is available at grocery […]

State funding for Richmond sewer project stripped out of budget deal

BY: - September 6, 2023

Earlier proposals to put an additional $100 million in state funds toward upgrades to Richmond’s combined sewer overflow system got edged out of this year’s budget deal to fund other initiatives, top budget negotiators said Wednesday. Gov. Glenn Youngkin as well as the Republican-controlled House of Delegates and Democratic-controlled Senate all included the funding in […]

After six years of inaction, Virginia Commission on Electric Utility Regulation reconvenes

BY: - September 5, 2023

Virginia’s Commission on Electric Utility Regulation met for the first time in six years Tuesday, following legislation during the last General Assembly session that requires it to now meet twice every year. The CEUR is tasked with reviewing the impacts of legislation on electric utility regulation, which can be hundreds of pages in length and […]

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

If Dominion’s plan is so bad, is there a better one? (Spoiler alert: yes, there is.)

BY: - September 5, 2023

In my last column I took Dominion’s Integrated Resource Plan (semi-) seriously, giving the utility the benefit of the doubt in its projections for data center growth and the alleged need for more fossil fuels to keep up with the power demands of that ravenous industry. But as I also noted, Dominion doesn’t deserve to […]