Powering Homes Using Pig Waste

(Bloomberg) -- A utility is teaming up with the world’s largest hog producer to capture methane emissions from animal farms to power homes and businesses.

Dominion Energy Inc., and Smithfield Foods Inc. are investing at least $250 million jointly over a decade to capture and process methane from Smithfield’s company-owned and contract hog farms, keeping the potent greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere, the companies said Tuesday in a statement. Using a process called anaerobic digestion, the fuel is turned into renewable natural gas, which will go to homes for heating or to power generators to make electricity by existing pipelines. Farmers will be paid via long-term contracts.

Initial projects were announced for Utah, North Carolina and Virginia. Methane is at least 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas and reductions in farm emissions can help states meet pollution gas targets, the companies said.

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