RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy have started a $250 million joint venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas, to harness the power of hog waste and turn it into renewable energy.
As hog waste decays it releases CO2 and methane, dangerous greenhouse gases. Smithfield Foods has worked to turn that into a positive.
“For nearly 20 years, we have relentlessly explored sustainable ways to convert manure into energy,” said Kenneth Sullivan, Smithfield Foods CEO.
Turning hog waste into renewable natural gas is a lengthy process.
All of the waste captured from the hogs will be stored in pits under the barn.
Then, underground pipes will move the waste into a covered lagoon.
This is were the manure will sit for six to 12 months while bacteria breaks it all down.
All of the gases that are emitted will be converted into clean energy, powering local homes and businesses.
Align RNG will use hog farms in Virginia, North Carolina and Utah.
The first project is scheduled to begin late 2019.