Author

Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo

Robert Zullo is a national energy reporter based in southern Illinois focusing on renewable power and the electric grid. Robert joined States Newsroom in 2018 as the founding editor of the Virginia Mercury. Before that, he spent 13 years as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Louisiana. He has a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He grew up in Miami, Florida, and central New Jersey.

Wind turbines in Schlewswig, Iowa

How did renewables fare during Winter Storm Elliott

By: - January 30, 2023

A day after Christmas, as parts of the country were still digging out from Winter Storm Elliott, the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, undeterred by the absence of much concrete data, already knew where to cast the blame for rolling blackouts implemented in parts of the South to keep the grid from collapsing.  “While there […]

A rendering of Dominion Energy's offshore wind installation vessel,

Offshore wind will need major investments in transmission, supply chain, reports say

By: - January 27, 2023

Achieving the aggressive offshore wind power goals of the federal government and individual states will require billions of dollars in spending on transmission infrastructure, “unprecedented” cooperation between grid operators and federal and state agencies, and would be aided by major buildout of a domestic supply chain, per a pair of reports released this week.  Coastal […]

Residents fight wind and snow in Detroit

As another winter storm strains the electric grid, it’s time to fix transmission, experts say

By: - January 3, 2023

The deadly winter storm, christened Elliott by the Weather Channel, that tore through much of the United States over the Christmas weekend placed a huge strain on the American electric grid, pushing it past the breaking point in some places. Frigid temperatures, in some places setting records, drove a surge in electric demand while also […]

Shell Chemical petroleum refinery in Norco, Louisiana

Environmental enforcement has fallen off under Biden, report says

By: - December 29, 2022

Federal environmental enforcement, as measured by Environmental Protection Agency civil cases closed against polluters, hit a two-decade low in 2022, per a report released this month by a national environmental group that blames budget cuts, staff shortages and the U.S. Senate’s failure to confirm key leaders. The Environmental Integrity Project said the 72 civil enforcement […]

After substation shooting, federal regulator orders review of security standards

By: - December 28, 2022

Less than two weeks after gunfire damaged two Duke Energy substations in Moore County, North Carolina, knocking out power to about 45,000 people, federal regulators ordered a review of security standards at electric transmission facilities and control centers. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday ordered the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which sets and […]

Scientists announce a fusion breakthrough with big implications for clean energy

By: - December 15, 2022

Scientists at a U.S. national laboratory announced Tuesday that they achieved fusion ignition, a breakthrough decades in the making that could have major implications for clean energy. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory near San Francisco said that on Dec. 5, for the first time anywhere in the world, they managed to produce more […]

transmission lines

As utilities spend billions on transmission, support builds for independent monitoring

By: - November 22, 2022

An aging electric grid, fossil fuel power plant retirements and a massive renewable electricity buildout are all contributing to a boom in transmission and distribution wire projects by electric utilities across the country.  In 2020, investor-owned electric utilities spent $25 billion on transmission, up from $23.7 billion in 2019, figures that the Edison Electric Institute, […]

A new Chevrolet Bolt EVU sits on the sales lot

Amid a major federal investment in electric cars, it’s time for states to step up, advocates say

By: - November 15, 2022

For years, electric vehicles posed something of a chicken-and-egg problem.  Mass adoption, seen as critical to cutting the largest single source of U.S. carbon emissions, couldn’t happen until the infrastructure to allow drivers to recharge wherever they were heading was in place. And those charging stations weren’t coming until more drivers switched to plug-in electric […]

States are vying for money to start ‘hydrogen hubs.’ What are they?

By: - October 25, 2022

Across the country, states are inking agreements with neighbors or striking out on their own to pursue billions in federal funding to set up “hydrogen hubs,” clustered centers for production, storage and use of the gas that many see as a crucial piece of the puzzle for decarbonizing the U.S. economy. How broad a role […]

Report says many utilities are slow-walking clean energy goals

By: - October 10, 2022

DENVER – A report released last week by the Sierra Club faults dozens of utilities that provide a major chunk of U.S. electric generation for failing to speed up their decarbonization efforts.  “For the sake of our communities and planet, we must do everything in our power to create a clean, renewable electric grid by […]

offshore wind turbines

For offshore wind aspirations to become reality, transmission hurdles must be cleared

By: - October 6, 2022

President Joe Biden’s administration laid out ambitious additional goals last month to boost offshore wind power generation, one of the American renewable energy industry’s emerging wide open frontiers. The federal announcements come as coastal states across the country are increasingly setting offshore wind energy targets, seeking to capture not just clean energy but the potentially […]

Amid a massive American clean energy shift, grid operators play catch-up

By: - September 20, 2022

For the better part of the past century, the American electric power system evolved around large, mostly fossil fuel power plants delivering electricity to residences, businesses and industry through a network of transmission and distribution wires that collectively came to be called the electric grid. But as the threat of climate change driven by carbon […]