Transforming the Future of Renewable Energy & Agriculture

Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods have teamed up to convert manure from hog farms into renewable energy.

Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)℠ , established in November 2018, has the rare ability to align the interests of farmers, food processors, neighbors, municipalities, energy consumers, and policymakers by capturing methane before it is released into the atmosphere and, instead, turning it into a valuable clean fuel.

In October 2019, Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced the companies are doubling their investment in renewable natural gas projects, from $250 million to $500 million through 2028, and will pursue new projects across the country. With the additional investment, by 2028, the RNG will provide enough energy to serve 70,000 homes and businesses annually.

Watch a video about Align RNG.

What is renewable natural gas?

Renewable natural gas (RNG) is clean energy that is made by capturing waste methane from hog and dairy farms, landfills, food waste and other sources.

It’s the cleanest energy source in the U.S. because it removes more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it releases when consumers use the gas. It’s better than zero carbon. It’s actually carbon-beneficial!

How does renewable natural gas work?

  • For Align RNG, methane from hog manure is captured from covered digesters outside the barns and transported to a central conditioning facility.
  • The methane is cleaned at the conditioning facility to 99% pure methane, the same as traditional natural gas.
  • The RNG is then put into existing distribution systems to serve local homes and businesses.

Where are the proposed locations?

Phase 1:

Utah

26 farms

Construction began in 2018
Became operational July 2020

Virginia

19 farms

Construction to begin mid-2020
Operational by first half of 2021

North Carolina

48 farms

Construction began in 2019
Operational in late 2020

A typical project consists of a cluster of about 15-20 hog farms. The projects in Phase 1 will produce enough energy to reliably serve about 14,000 homes annually and will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 100,000 non-EV passenger vehicles off the road, or planting about 7.8 million new trees every year.

How Does RNG Impact the Environment?

Renewable natural gas is even better than carbon-neutral. It captures 25 times more greenhouse gas emissions from biomass than are released from its end use in power plants, homes and businesses, making it carbon-beneficial. And because methane is 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?

Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

Increased domestic energy production

Improved waste management

New revenue source for American farmers

How Will Align RNG Grow?

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 country. RNG has the ability to meet the around-the-clock energy needs of consumers in every sector, from home heating and cooking to colleges, hospitals and industry.

Our companies initially invested $250 million in this initiative over ten years for projects in North Carolina, Utah and Virginia. With the announcement that Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, Inc. would double their investment, Align RNG will now expand beyond its initial projects in those states and pursue new projects nationwide, including in Arizona and California.