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.
As utilities spend billions on transmission, support builds for independent monitoring
By: Robert Zullo - November 20, 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, […]
Amid major federal investment in electric cars, it’s time for states to step up, advocates say
By: Robert Zullo - November 13, 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 […]
Coal plant operators shirking responsibilities on ash cleanup, report contends
By: Robert Zullo - November 3, 2022
In the wake of major coal ash spills from power plant containment ponds in Tennessee and into the Dan River along the North Carolina and Virginia border, the federal Environmental Protection Agency in 2015 laid out the first federal rules for managing the ash, one of the nation’s largest waste streams, and the toxins it […]
States are vying for money to start ‘hydrogen hubs.’ What are they?
By: Robert Zullo - October 26, 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: Robert Zullo - October 5, 2022
DENVER – A report released this 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 […]
For offshore wind aspirations to become reality, transmission hurdles must be cleared
By: Robert Zullo - October 4, 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 big […]
Amid a massive American clean energy shift, grid operators play catch-up.
By: Robert Zullo - September 24, 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 […]