Duke Energy has signed another deal to buy natural gas recycled from hog waste in eastern North Carolina. The utility is working with Optima KV, which will install waste processing equipment at farms in Duplin County, where Smithfield Farms produces pork.
Methane will be captured at the two farms, then piped to a new processing facility in Kenansville. There it will be cleaned, then sent into existing gas pipelines. The 15-year contract calls for the swine gas to be available in 2017.
"We see continued advancement in this technology in North Carolina," David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president, said in a press release Tuesday. "This project has environmental benefits and is cost-effective for our customers."
Gas from the Duplin site will go to gas-fired power plants near Wilmington and Goldsboro. Duke expects to get enough gas to generate about 11,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually – enough to power about 880 homes for a year.
It's the latest in a series of deals that will help Duke comply with a 2007 state law that requires Duke to expand use of alternative energy sources.
Duke announced a similar deal in March with Carbon Cycle Energy, which also plans a bio-gas facility in eastern North Carolina. The companies did not announce a location.
Duke also is looking outside North Carolina for bio-gas. State regulators in March approved Duke's application to buy methane from animal-waste processing plants in Oklahoma and Missouri. The gas would be sent into the gas pipeline system beginning next year, a Duke spokesman said.
March 21, 2016, WFAE.org, "Duke's New Source For Natural Gas: Hog Waste"