By John Downey
Frequent Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) critic NC WARN has bought time on television stations in the Charlotte, Triad and Triangle markets to air a satirical attack on the utility’s record on solar energy in North Carolina.
NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren says the ad accuses Duke of telling “fish stories” about its support for solar. Warren says solar developers told regulators this summer that changes in state solar rules proposed by Duke and other utilities made would strangle the industry.
Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless contends that Duke does support solar development in North Carolina. He cited the 278 megawatts of solar capacity the Charlotte-based company has contracted to build or buy power from next year and the state’s standing as a leader in solar projects as evidence.
“That’s not a fish story — it’s a fact,” Wheeless says.
The ad notes that Duke’s current long-range plan projects solar power will represent just 4 percent of the company’s total power in 2029. Wheeless says that is up from a projection of 3 percent the year before. He says the figure is likely to grow as solar-development costs appear to continue heading downward.
Warren says the TV ad, which accompanies a print campaign in newspapers, is called “Does Duke think you are stupid?”
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