Eastern NC facility makes electricity from swine waste

06/20/2014 7:05 PM

06/20/2014 7:06 PM

North Carolina’s newest power generator that uses swine waste for fuel is ready for its public debut after eight months of testing and adjustments.

The Storms Hog Power facility in Bladenboro, about 100 miles southeast of Raleigh, has scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday to showcase the manure-to-methane process. Its developers say the system operates about 98 percent of the time and has the highest rate of constant run-time achieved to date.

North Carolina, with eight such facilities, is the only state that requires electric utilities to buy power generated from swine and poultry waste. The technology is still in early stages and hasn’t proven viable on a commercial scale.

Storms Hog Power sells its electricity output to the N.C. Electric Membership Corp., the power supplier for rural electric cooperatives. Duke Energy buys renewable energy certificates from Storms Hog Power, the subsidies utilities have to accumulate to meet the state’s mandate for clean energy.

Storms Hog Power processes more than 350,000 gallons of swine waste a week from 28,000 hogs and generates power for about 290 residential homes.

The project was financed by the farm’s owner, William Storms, with support from a $1.5 million U.S. Treasury grant and over $1 million in state tax credits.

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