Greenpeace flew a tethered, Earth-shaped “Duke Don’t Block Solar” hot air balloon Tuesday morning at a staging area on North Davidson Street in Charlotte, in advance of Thursday’s annual Duke Energy shareholder meeting in uptown.
The other side of the balloon said, “Solar Works For All.”
Huge letters on the ground spelled, “Duke We want access to solar.”
The environmental organization also placed what it called “clean graffiti” with an #IStand4Solar message at various locations in the city. On Thursday, Greenpeace plans to hold a rally and news conference at Duke Energy headquarters during the annual meeting.
Duke Energy spokesman Randy Wheeless said Duke Energy Progress ranked fourth among all utility companies for bringing on new solar capacity in 2014, including built and purchased capacity.
Outside of three California utilities, Duke Energy Progress was the leading utility in the nation last year, bringing 161 megawatts of new solar capacity online, Wheeless said.
In the 2014 Solar Electric Power Association utility rankings, North Carolina was the third-ranked state at bringing on new solar capacity, Wheeless added. The state’s 205 megawatts of new capacity in 2014 was just behind California and Arizona. Overall, the state is fourth in the nation for solar capacity, he said.