Charlotte, North Carolina based utility firm, Duke Energy, is to acquire methane gas from the digestion of swine and poultry waste output at a planned facility in eastern North Carolina to generate renewable electricity at four power stations.
The planned farm waste anaerobic digestion facility is to be built by Boulder, Colorado headquartered renewable energy project development firm, Carbon Cycle Energy. The location has not been announced, but is expected to be in eastern North Carolina.
Under North Carolina's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS), Duke Energy explained that its companies must meet specific compliance targets for swine and poultry waste. The company added that it is already buying electricity generated from other facilities in the state.
Expanding the utility's renewable energy output, the captured methane will be treated, injected into the pipeline system and used at four Duke Energy plants:
- Buck Steam Station in Rowan County
- Dan River Steam Station in Rockingham County
- H.F. Lee Station Combined Cycle Plant in Wayne County
- Sutton Combined Cycle Plant in New Hanover County
According to the utility, under a 15 year term of the contract Carbon Cycle Energy is expected to produce more than 1 million MMBtus (28.263682 m3) of pipeline quality captured methane per year.
The company said that it expects to generate around 125,000 MWh of renewable energy per year from the biogas – enough to power about 10,000 homes for a year.
Duke added that the renewable energy credits (RECs) generated annually by the effort will help satisfy state mandates.
On 18 March this year, Duke Energy filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) registration statements and additional information related to the plants being designated as New Renewable Energy Facilities. Under the state's REPS requirements, this must be done for plants that will consume and generate new renewable energy.
"It is encouraging to see the technological advances that allow waste to energy projects in North Carolina to be done in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner for our customers," commented David Fountain, Duke Energy president, North Carolina.
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