A Duke Energy power plant is using renewable natural gas from North Carolina-based hog farms to produce electricity – the first application of the technology from in-state farms.
“This is a major breakthrough for renewable energy in North Carolina,” said David Fountain, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “This project allows for the capture of emissions from hog operations and converts the renewable natural gas to electricity for customers.”
The Optima KV project in Duplin County captures methane gas from the hog waste of five local farms. Using more than 42,000 feet of in-ground piping, the methane is moved to a central location where the gas is cleaned and converted to pipeline-quality natural gas.
The project injects the renewable natural gas into the Piedmont Natural Gas system which transports it to Duke Energy’s Smith Energy Complex in Richmond County where it is used to produce electricity. Optima KV completed its interconnection to Piedmont Natural Gas last week.
The project will help Duke Energy satisfy state swine waste-to-energy mandates under the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard law in North Carolina. Under this law, Duke Energy must generate 0.20 percent of its retail sales from swine waste by 2023.