Elizabeth Outz, Energy News Network
PHOTO BY Kansas State University
A new project is helping Duke Energy meet a mandate to generate a small portion of its power from pig waste.
The molecules combusted at a North Carolina power plant now include some that originated not from fossil deposits locked deep in the earth’s crust, but from a group of nearby hog farms in Duplin County.
The renewable natural gas project in the heart of hog country is a first for North Carolina, and backers say it won’t be the last.
If they’re right, they could help curb the stench and pollution from factory-style swine farms that have been a flashpoint in eastern North Carolina for decades. Capturing gas from the state’s massive stores of animal waste would also produce a double climate benefit, avoiding potent methane emissions and displacing fossil fuels.