A Powerful Partnership
Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods have teamed up to convert biomass 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, enough RNG will be produced to power 70,000 homes and businesses.
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 transferred into covered “lagoons."
- Anaerobic digesters break down solids, releasing methane gases in the lagoon.
- That gas is moved into a central conditioning facility.
- That facility cleans and converts the gas into renewable natural gas.
- The renewable natural gas is injected into existing pipelines for customer use.
Where are the proposed locations?
These first projects in Phase 1 will produce enough energy to reliably power about 14,000 homes and will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking more than 100,000 passenger vehicles off the road, or planting about 7.8 million new trees.
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?
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.
Our companies initially invested $250 million in this initiative over ten years for projects in North Carolina, Utah and Virginia. With the recent 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.