This editorial appeared in the Fayetteville Observer:
Could that be the sweet smell of success coming, of all things, from hog manure? It could. Sampson County, and its next-door neighbor Duplin, form the epicenter of North Carolina’s pork industry and are the top hog-producing counties in the country. In that, they are also a leading producer of hog waste. But Sampson has just approved half-million-dollar incentive packages for two plants that will convert the methane from manure into electricity.
That is breakthrough technology and a welcome change in hog-waste disposal.
The plants will be developed by a Detroit-area electric utility, NOVI Energy, which will invest about $25 million in each plant. They will be about 20 miles apart and will bring tax revenue of about $1.7 million to Sampson County over their first five years.
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The power plants are expected to begin operations by early 2018 and will put 4 to 5 megawatts of power onto the electric grid. NOVI plans to contract with nearby hog farms for their waste – a new revenue stream for the farmers and a more environmentally sound route for hog waste, which mostly is kept in open cesspools and then sprayed on farm fields.
Using it instead as a source of renewable energy is a hopeful change.
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