Duke Energy says it's becoming a matter of urgency to build a new substation and transmission line in western North Carolina, but the company many have no choice than to build near a Cherokee holy site that Cherokees are seeking to protect from desecration.
The Charlotte electric utility defended its actions before the N.C. Utilities Commission in a filing made late Monday, warning that delays and inaction will lead to power blackouts.
Opponents have asked the state regulatory body in Raleigh to block Duke's plans to build electrical equipment within view of Kituwah, a Cherokee sacred site that's on the National Register of Historic Places and described by the Cherokees as their Garden of Eden.
"The Company must take action," Duke told the utilities commission. "A loss of a transformer under the current configuration, and without the upgrade, could result in an outage lasting several days, or at a minimum, rotating blackouts."