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In North Carolina, lots of hog waste — but can it scale as an energy source?

By District Energy posted 04-03-2018 10:19


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.

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