Energy Matters

PEC is working to support an energy system that is smarter, more efficient and better accounts for the negative externalities arising from the choices we make about energy consumption, generation, transmission and distribution.

We are advocating for a more distributed system that is less reliant on distant generating sources and incorporates a mix of local renewable power — customer owned, community based and utility scale. Recognizing Virginia is in the early stages of its energy transition, we believe now is the time to reimagine and rebuild our energy system in a way that is just and fair to all residents and ratepayers.

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aerial view of a few huge data center buildings between a set of apartments and public trail

Questions Swirl Around Data Centers – How Many, Where and at What Cost?

Although DEQ’s proposed variance for data center diesel generator has been pulled, the underlying issue remains: Is this continued boom in data center development sustainable? …
Piedmont Environmental Council Statement on Department of Environmental Quality Variance Withdrawal

Piedmont Environmental Council Statement on Department of Environmental Quality Variance Withdrawal

The Virginia Department of Environmental Equality’s withdrawal of its proposed variance that would have allowed data centers to circumvent Virginia’s air pollution control regulations limiting the use of heavily polluting, industrial sized, emergency diesel generators …
data center presentation title slide

PEC Presentation on Data Centers & Potential Reliance on Backup Diesel Generators

On March 28, 2023, The Piedmont Environmental Council hosted a local information session in Loudoun County about a variance being proposed by The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to allow Loudoun data centers to use …
More Data Center News in Warrenton

More Data Center News in Warrenton

Much has happened in the weeks since the 4-3 Warrenton Town Council vote to approve the Amazon Data Center Special Use Permit (SUP). I want to give you an update on potential permit violations on …
Update on DEQ’s air quality variance for data centers

Update on DEQ’s air quality variance for data centers

The variance would allow backup diesel generators to run more frequently this coming summer …
aerial of wildnerness crossing property with mine icon overlay

March 23: Public Hearing on Wilderness Crossing

It is critically important that County decisionmakers hear from you before they vote on this impactful proposal …
data center web map screenshot

Data Centers, Diesel Generators and Air Quality – PEC Web Map

PEC requested the air permits for all of the approximately hundred data center facilities covered under the proposed DEQ variance, including the number of commercial generators per facility. We determined that there are 4,632 commercial …
aerial photo of data center with a residential neighborhood in the background. Overlaid text reads "Take Action: Tell DEQ to Protect Our Air Quality"

Take Action: The Air We Breathe Is at Risk

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is considering adopting a variance that would allow the data center industry to run backup diesel generators for longer and more frequent periods of time from March to …
aerial photo of data center with a residential neighborhood in the background. Overlaid text reads "Take Action: Tell DEQ to Protect Our Air Quality"

Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Air Quality in Jeopardy

The VA Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is seeking comment on an order that will temporarily allow data centers in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties to operate their generators for longer and more frequent …