Robert Zullo is the Capital-Star's Energy Transition Reporter. He is the former editor of our sibling site, the Virginia Mercury. Readers may follow him on Twitter @rczullo.
A year after devastating winter storm, power plant problems ‘still likely’ in extreme weather
By: Robert Zullo - November 28, 2023
As the anniversary approaches of Winter Storm Elliott, a pair of reports released earlier this month reveal how much worse the situation almost became and the continued vulnerability of the U.S. energy grid to frigid weather.
Reliability v. sustainability: Inside the debate over the EPA’s proposed carbon rules
By: Robert Zullo - November 27, 2023
Grid operators are worried that fossil plant retirements are accelerating too quickly to ensure there are enough new resources to replace them.
New life for old coal: Minelands and power plants are hot renewable development spots
By: Robert Zullo - November 25, 2023
Tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act, the biggest piece of climate legislation in U.S. history, include a bonus 10% credit for “energy communities.”
‘So many ways hydrogen can go wrong’: Hub announcements viewed with caution
By: Robert Zullo - October 14, 2023
The Friday announcement that seven projects had been selected to receive $7 billion in seed money to kickstart the production of clean hydrogen across the country was billed by President Joe Biden’s administration as a major step toward slashing carbon emissions, creating thousands of domestic jobs and positioning the U.S. as a clean energy leader. […]
Lack of oversight on transmission spending leads to higher electric bills, consumer advocate says
By: Robert Zullo - October 10, 2023
Electric customers have fallen into a “regulatory gap” that’s allowed billions of dollars of transmission construction to happen without oversight of need, prudence or cost effectiveness, according to a complaint filed with federal regulators by the Office of the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel. And though the complaint to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was made on […]
Report faults EPA for not enforcing limits on toxic benzene emissions at oil refineries
By: Robert Zullo - September 11, 2023
The federal Environmental Protection Agency must do a better job ensuring that oil refineries that exceed emissions limits for benzene, a toxic, carcinogenic pollutant, cut those concentrations, the agency’s inspector general found. “Thirteen of the 118 refineries we reviewed had benzene concentrations above the action level in 20 or more weeks after the initial exceedance,” […]
Federal, state regulators prod utilities to consider technology for grid upgrade
By: Robert Zullo - August 24, 2023
Of the many challenges confronting the nation’s aging, straining electric grid, the need for a lot of new transmission capacity is among the most pressing, experts and policymakers say. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Energy said the nation will need thousands of miles of new lines to better link regions to handle extreme […]
Federal regulators approve new rules to ease power connection backlogs
By: Robert Zullo - July 29, 2023
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday finalized long-awaited new rules intended to reform how power generation projects get connected to the electric grid, seen as a major step in smoothing the path for thousands of mostly renewable power projects currently waiting to plug in. “This rule will ensure that our country’s vast generation resources […]
Budding U.S. offshore wind industry facing rough seas. Here’s why
By: Robert Zullo - July 16, 2023
'It requires a lot of things to go right. It does create some costs because you have to build a supply chain from zero,' one industry executive said.
State lawmakers debate who should build EV charging networks
By: Robert Zullo - June 16, 2023
Projections point to an imminent surge in electric vehicles. That means tens of thousands of additional public charging stations are needed.
Decarbonization ambitions ignite debate over mining, permitting
By: Robert Zullo - June 4, 2023
The decarbonized, electrified future envisioned by the Biden administration, state governments, automakers, utility companies and corporate sustainability goals depends to a huge degree on minerals and metals. Lots more lithium will be needed for car and truck batteries, as well as the big banks of batteries that are increasingly popping onto the electric grid to balance the […]
With summer coming fast, regulator issues electric reliability warning
By: Robert Zullo - May 20, 2023
'Weather officials are expecting above normal temperatures for much of the United States,' a new report concludes.