Smithfield Foods to supply Duke Energy with RNG from manufacturing - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  January 8, 2020

Smithfield Foods to supply Duke Energy with RNG from manufacturing

Smithfield Foods entered into a partnership with a local utility to produce renewable natural gas from the wastewater treatment system at their Tar Heel, N.C., pork processing facility, which will then be used to power the local area.

The commercial food manufacturer joined forces with Duke Energy and OptimaBio in a $14 million project that will produce 140,000 dekatherms of RNG a year that will be converting into electricity for Duke Energy customers.

"This project brings to life all three of our company’s guiding principles – Responsibility, Operational Excellence, and Innovation,” Kenneth M. Sullivan, president and chief executive officer for Smithfield Foods, said in a statement. “For the first time, we are creating renewable energy from the biogas generated in our wastewater treatment system and using it to power local communities. With the help of our partners, we are producing additional value for our company and our neighbors—a concept that is ingrained in our culture.”

Smithfield Foods previously committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025 through the creation of Smithfield Renewables, its environmental division. They have also previously implemented “wastewater-to-energy” projects at their Milan, Mo.; Grayson, Ky.; and Sioux Falls, S.D., facilities.

OptimaBio is the bioenergy project developer who converts the facility’s three million-gallon-per-day wastewater into RNG through the collection and cleaning of biogas. The RNG is then fed to the Piedmont Natural Gas System and transported to Duke Energy to produce electricity. Under a new North Carolina law, Duke Energy is required to generate 0.20% of its retail sales from swine waste by 2024.

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