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, Va. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and central New Jersey. He can be reached at [email protected]

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 […]

Utility trucks work on power lines

Affordable, reliable, and sustainable: Report compares utility performance 

By: - January 20, 2023

A nationwide comparison of electric utility performance by an Illinois consumer advocacy group found that customers in states that are heavily reliant on fuel oil and natural gas, as in the Northeast and South, tend to pay more than those with larger amounts of carbon-free generation, among other findings.  The report by the Illinois-based Citizens […]

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 […]

Six smokestacks in a row release smoke into a gray sky.

Environmental enforcement has fallen off under Biden, report says

By: - January 3, 2023

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 in December 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 20, 2022

Less than two weeks after gunfire damaged two Duke Energy substations in Moore County, N.C., 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 (NERC), which sets and […]

Scientists announce a fusion breakthrough with big implications for clean energy 

By: - December 13, 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 […]

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

By: - November 28, 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 […]

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

By: - October 6, 2022

This story was updated on Oct. 11 to clarify the costs of upgrading the PJM transmission system to accommodate offshore wind as identified in a 2021 report by the grid operator. The cost estimates included other renewable energy goals by states, not just offshore wind. President Joe Biden’s administration laid out ambitious additional goals last […]

Power lines against a partly cloudy sky

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

By: - September 21, 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 […]