Virginia energy issuesBacon’s Rebellion has reported extensively about Virginia energy issues. You can access energy-categorized articles and blog posts chronologically by clicking here. Or you can browse through energy-related topics on this page.

Coal Ash

Weighing the Coal Ash Options: Meeting EPA deadlines constrains Dominion’s options for disposing of coal ash at four of its power stations.
January 4, 2018

Chesapeake Coal Ash Ruling — Advantage Dominion
March 24, 2017

Landfill, Recycle or Close in Place?
February 15, 2017

The Economics of Coal Ash Disposal: To cap coal ash pits in existing locations or to haul it off to landfills is the multibillion-dollar question facing the electric utility industry.
Oct. 8, 2016

Once in Four LifetimesThe conservative assumptions behind Virginia water-discharge permits, says DEQ, reduce the odds of harming aquatic wildlife to fewer than three incidents in a thousand years.
April 19, 2016

Coal Ash MishmashDominion has narrowed its differences with environmental groups over how to dispose of coal ash, but the conflict is not easily resolved, and uncertainty about the final outcome prevails.
April 7, 2016

How Clean Is Clean Enough? Regulations for cleaning up Virginia’s coal ash ponds are much stricter — and more expensive – than the old rules. But do the new standards do enough to protect water quality?
February 15, 2016

Eminent Domain

Putting a Price on the Priceless: How does the state put a dollar value on historic, cultural and environmental assets threatened by eminent domain?
Jan. 25, 2016

Clash of Competing Values: Virginians need pipelines and transmission lines to keep the economy humming. But we also value our historical, cultural and historical heritage. The trade-offs are getting harder and harder.
Jan. 20, 2016

Putting Easements to the TestAs gas and electric companies propose dozens of pipeline and transmission-line projects in Virginia, landowners are finding their conservation easements don’t provide as much protection as they thought.
November 6, 2015

Pipelines and Property Lines: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline wants to inspect land along a proposed 550-mile route. Legal challenges from landowners could re-write a 2004 law governing property rights in utility surveys.
July 23, 2015

Energy Efficiency

Conservation Voltage Reduction: Dominion’s “Fifth Fuel
Dec. 9, 2016

The (Battery) Acid Test: Dominion Virginia Power is running experiments to see how well battery storage works with solar electricity. The verdict so far: mixed.
Nov. 21, 2016

Banking on Batteries: AES Energy Storage is building a global enterprise using industrial-scale batteries to make the electric grid cleaner and more reliable. 
Nov. 21, 2016

Pay a Man’s Electric Bill, and You Keep Him Warm for a Month. Weatherize His House, and… Dominion Virginia Power is expanding its Energy Share program from the poor and elderly to veterans and the disabled.
Sept. 2, 2016

Making Net-Zero Energy Affordable: The new Rocky Mountain Institute headquarters building in Basalt, Colo., demonstrates how to drive net energy consumption down to zero at a cost that offers a four-year payback.
July 15, 2016

Cutting CO2 One Refrigerator at a Time: Energy efficiency is everybody’s favorite strategy for reducing dioxide emissions. But conservation programs are not always economical.
July 13, 2015

Natural Gas / Pipelines

The Failed Mountain “Decapitation” Narrative: Environmentalists say the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will “decapitate” pristine mountaintops in western Virginia. They have no evidence to back the claim.
April 27, 2017

Pipeline Approaches Approval, but Foes Still Full of Fight: The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has cleared most regulatory hurdles needed to start construction. But opponents have raised new objections.
May 4, 2017

FERC Finds Pipeline Impact “Less than Significant”
Dec. 31, 2016

Trenches, Sinkholes and Slippery SlopesBuilding gas pipelines over steep mountains and sinkhole-prone terrain risks erosion, sedimentation and drinking-water pollution. Are state regulators on top of the situation?
Nov. 11, 2016

A Matter of Public Necessity: Eastern Virginia and eastern North Carolina need more natural gas, and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is the most cost-effective way to to deliver it, say the four pipeline partners.
Sept. 20, 2016

In Hampton Roads, Life Is Not a GasHampton Roads and other Tidewater communities see proposed natural gas pipelines in Virginia as a boon to economic development.
July 20, 2016

How One Gas Plant Can Save Billions: There’s more to the natural gas boom than fracking. Technology deployed at Dominion’s Greensville power plant will squeeze more electricity out of a BTU of gas than ever before.
July 18, 2016

Doubling Down on Natural Gas: Dominion says its new Brunswick County Power Station is clean, super-efficient, and a good deal for rate payers. Environmentalists question whether the natural gas-fired facility is a wise investment over the long run.
June 2, 2016

Justifiable Jitters or Unwarranted Worry? Virginians living in the path of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline fret about the threat of explosions. Dominion Transmission says their fears are overblown.
May 26, 2016

A Plethora of Pipelines: Four companies are talking about building gas pipelines through Virginia. How many are needed — and who decides?
August 18, 2015


Will Grid Transformation Allow Utility Double Dipping?: Dominion says the Grid Transformation Act will provide stable electric rates and a clean, reliable grid. Foes fear that the legislation will rip off customers and fatten utility profits.
February 7, 2018

Is Dominion Generating Millions in Excess Profits? It Depends on Who’s Doing the Accounting. The SCC says Dominion generated up to $395 million in excess revenue in 2016 under the electric rate freeze. Dominion says the SCC is inflating the numbers.
September 6, 2017

Do Utilities and Coal Companies Run Virginia? Vivian Thomson argues that utilities and coal companies dominate Virginia’s energy policy. Her simplistic view ignores the reality that environmentalists wield significant power now.
August 29, 2017

Rogue Board. In “Climate of Capitulation,” former Air Board member Vivian Thomson argues unpersuasively that state government favors energy over the environment.
August 21, 2017

Grid Pro Quo: The EPA wants to restructure Virginia’s electric grid. Skeptics argue that slashing CO2 emissions will drive electric bills higher. Environmentalists disagree. Who’s right?
April 28, 2015

Does Dominion Win or Lose from the New Law?: Virginia’s biggest power company could benefit from the freeze in electric rates but it also could take a big hit to earnings from power-plant shutdowns.
March 19, 2015

Nuclear Energy

Nukes and Renewal: Should Dominion Energy re-license its four Virginia nuclear power units? The answer depends on your appraisal of solar power, energy efficiency and other alternatives.
April 5, 2018

Nuclear Fortress: How safe are Virginia’s nuclear power plants from terrorists, hackers and natural disasters? Let’s put it this way: Dominion worries about such threats 24/7 so you don’t have to.
March 21, 2018

Renewable Energy

Virginia’s Date with RGGI: There’s a good chance that Virginia will participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to cut utility CO2 emissions. The impact of the cap-and-trade system would be mostly symbolic.
May 24, 2018

Dominion’s 3,000-Megawatt Battery: The Bath County pumped-storage facility has worked out so well for Dominion that the utility wants to build a smaller version in Southwest Virginia.
October 19, 2017

A Good Year for Retail Solar in Virginia
April 12, 2017

The Market Path to Green Energy: Economic forces increasingly favor wind and solar. Creating the right regulatory incentives could accelerate the adoption of renewables, says the Rocky Mountain Institute.
July 22, 2016

Tesla’s Grand Plan: Tesla Motors, which wants to expand its retail presence in Virginia, is more than a manufacturer of high-end electric vehicles. It’s part of Elon Musk’s quest to transform the electric grid.
Sept. 2, 2016

Testing the Impact of Solar: Virginia has been slow to embrace small-scale solar energy, but Dominion’s Solar Partnership Program could show how to integrate variable solar generation into local distribution systems.
Sept. 20, 2016

Solar Farm 101: A book entitled “Solar Farms for Dummies” would never sell. Once constructed, solar farms are so simple to maintain that the biggest job is cutting the grass.
Sept. 16, 2016

Salvaging Wind Power in Virginia: Dominion thinks $400 million is too much to pay for two experimental offshore wind turbines. The utility is exploring ways to drive the cost down.
July 17, 2015

Shining Sunlight on the Accomack Solar Project: Amazon’s giant solar power plant will lighten the environmental footprint of the company’s growing cluster of Northern Virginia data centers. It won’t do much to lighten the tax burden of Accomack County.
June 25, 2015

Transmission-Distribution Grid

On the Fine Art of Forecasting Load Demand: Billions of investment dollars ride on the long-range forecast of Dominion’s peak load electricity demand. But whose projections do we believe — Dominion’s or PJM’s?
June 30, 2017

Towards a Smarter Grid: Dominion Virginia Power is using big data to increase the reliability of its electric distribution network. The result: Fewer disruptions and shorter outages for customers.
Sept. 24, 2015

An Intractable Dilemma: When Dominion shuts down the Yorktown Power Station, Virginia’s Peninsula will need another source of electric power. Dominion says a 500 kV transmission line over the historic James River is the best option. Conservationists disagree.
September 14, 2014

It’s the Buzzard Talking: If you want to understand why Dominion Virginia Power does what it does, visit the Henrico County operations center where the company manages 6,400 miles of electric transmission line.
August 20, 2015