Commercial, Sourcing Renewables - December 11, 2020
Smithfield Foods launches RNG project with Utah hog farmers
Smithfield Foods announced Dec. 9 its first renewable natural gas project through a joint venture with Dominion Energy in southwestern Utah.
The Align Renewable Natural Gas project is the first large-scale effort in Utah focusing on capturing methane from hog farming operations and converting it into clean energy. This project will produce RNG from a network of 26 family farms that raise hogs under contract with Smithfield.
“We're excited to witness the completion of our initial project in Utah, as we continue to scale and implement renewable energy projects across the country,” Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs at Smithfield Foods, said in a statement. “Our Align RNG partnership with Dominion Energy is a key component of Smithfield's carbon reduction strategy, which promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across our domestic supply chain 25 percent by 2025 and become carbon negative in all U.S. company-owned operations by 2030.”
At full capacity, the RNG project is expected to reduce annual emissions from participating Utah farms by more than 100,000 metric tons and produce enough RNG to heat more than 3,000 homes and businesses. It also benefits the participating farmers by simplifying the process and reducing the cost of manure management.
Dominion and Smithfield are jointly investing $500 million over the next 10 years to develop RNG projects in the United States. When all of the partnership’s planned projects are completed, they will reduce annual emissions from U.S. hog farms by 2.5 million metric tons.