November 28 (Renewables Now) - Dominion Energy (NYSE:D) and pork processor Smithfield Foods Inc are creating a joint venture to capture methane emissions from hog farms and convert them into renewable energy.
The new company, called Align Renewable Natural Gas, will use anaerobic digesters to capture and process waste methane from large clusters of Smithfield's company-owned and contract hog farms. The methane will then be transported to a central conditioning facility so that it can be converted into renewable natural gas, which can be stored and delivered to homes and businesses.
Smithfield is pursuing a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025. To achieve that objective, the company created Smithfield Renewables and the manure-to-energy initiative is part of that platform. Together with Dominion Energy, Smithfield will invest at least USD 250 million (EUR 222m) over the next decade to expand the technology on a wide scale. The food company noted that initially it would be applied on 90% of its own finishing spaces in North Carolina and Utah. Other projects will also be executed in Virginia.
As of March 2018, a pilot project known as Optima KV is operating at five of Smithfield’s contract hog farms in North Carolina. The JV plans to introduce this technology to two larger farm clusters in Duplin and Sampson Counties, North Carolina, as well as in Waverly, Virginia and Milford, Utah. The first of these projects should be completed in late 2019.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.886)