US-based power company Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods through their joint venture (JV) firm Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) are set to start construction on a renewable natural gas (RNG) project in North Carolina, US.

Located in Duplin and Sampson counties of the state, the ‘manure-to-energy’ project will be designed to capture methane emissions from pig farms and convert it into RNG to provide electricity to homes and businesses in the region.

Smithfield Renewables and Smithfield Foods production environmental affairs senior director Kraig Westerbeek said: “Breaking ground on this project with Dominion Energy is an exciting first step in bringing Align RNG to life.

“This project implements proven ‘manure-to-energy’ technology across a number of farms to produce reliable renewable energy for our community and contributes to our company’s ambitious goal to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions 25% by 2025.”

Once completed, the project will have the capacity to power more than 3,500 homes in the region annually. It is estimated that it will generate 300,000 metric million British thermal units (MMBTU) of renewable energy.

As part of the initiative, technology will be installed across 19 farms in the region to convert manure into RNG.

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This would be processed and injected into natural gas distribution systems for the local homes as well as business establishments.

Dominion Energy New Gas Business Development general manager Gary Courts said: “We’re using the power of innovation to make our energy cleaner and our farms more sustainable than ever before.

“With renewable natural gas, everyone wins. It’s good for the environment and our planet. It’s a huge win for the farmers.”

The two companies are planning to build such projects in North Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.