A Powerful Partnership
Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods have teamed up to convert biomass into renewable energy.
Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)℠ is a new company that has the rare ability to align the interests of farmers, food processors, neighbors, municipalities, energy consumers, policymakers and indeed the planet by capturing methane before it is released into the atmosphere and, instead, turning it into a valuable clean fuel.
What is renewable natural gas?
Renewable natural gas, sometimes called biomethane, is a pipeline-quality gas derived from biomass — organic matter that can be used as fuel. In this case, the biomass is hog manure.
Like solar and wind power, renewable natural gas is a promising alternative energy source.
How does renewable natural gas work?
- Hog waste is captured and stored in covered “lagoons."
- The waste is flushed or transferred to a covered lagoon.
- Anaerobic digesters break down solids, releasing methane gases in the lagoon.
- That gas is captured inside the lagoon and moved into a processing facility.
- That facility converts the methane gas into renewable natural gas.
- The renewable natural gas is injected into the pipeline for customer use.
Where are the proposed locations?
These first four projects will produce enough energy to reliably power about 14,000 homes and will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking almost 120,000 passenger vehicles off the road, or planting about 14 million new trees.
How Does RNG Impact the Environment?
Renewable natural gas is a carbon-negative fuel because it captures significantly more greenhouse gas emissions from biomass than are released from its end use in power plants, homes and businesses. And because methane is 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, reducing methane can have an even more positive impact on the planet than other carbon reduction initiatives.
What are the benefits of renewable natural gas?
How Will Align RNG Grow?
Align RNG is just getting started with the projects proposed above. As global leaders in the energy and agriculture industries, Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods have the resources, expertise and market access to expand this proven technology on a wide scale across the region.
Our companies are initially investing $250 million in this initiative over ten years with the potential for application across 90 percent of Smithfield’s hog farms in North Carolina and Utah. In addition to these states, projects will be implemented in Virginia and have the potential for wider-scale application across the country.