California Energy Commission. Last year, tech giants with data centers in Virginia, including Microsoft, LinkedIn and Apple, demanded the utility deploy renewable energy to meet any increase in power, rather than natural gas-fired power plants proposed by Dominion. Your IP: 108.61.176.255 Methane is a greenhouse gas with a warming impact at least 25 times greater, per pound, than carbon dioxide. “We’re bringing together small and moderate-size farms and networking them as they join in a hub-and-spoke model to create economy of scale,” he says. RNG and its negative emissions accounting is key to Dominion reaching its carbon neutrality goal by 2050. Environmental Protection Specialist. If no pipelines are close by, the gas may have to be trucked to its destination. Whether it's food or tech companies, we’re trying to go across industry to find ways to reduce carbon and provide cleaner energy solutions to all of our customers. Still, given the fundamental challenges in aligning livestock production with climate goals, Smithfield’s commitment is commendable. Dominion has worked with other private companies on renewable energy initiatives as well. Smithfield is striving towards an absolute emissions reductions of 25 percent by 2025, meaning it needs to take into account the emissions associated with its entire supply chain — including the methane from the 15 million pigs it raises annually, which account for about 40 to 45 percent of the company’s emissions. This article is adapted from GreenBiz's newsletter Energy Weekly, running Thursdays. "The bacterial action releases a biogas that's 60% to 65% methane," Westerbeek says. • Their manure flows into a big pond, called a lagoon, right in front of us. The market has attracted resources from across North America — including Missouri and Canada — and California’s agriculture department has funded more than 60 (PDF) of dairy biogas projects, with plans to expand. This methane, in fact, is even better than "low-carbon." ", According to Dominion’s calculations, mixing just 4 percent of RNG with 96 percent fracked natural gas will offset the carbon footprint completely, as RNG "captures 25 times more greenhouse gas than it releases." If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. On the same day that Dominion announced its new climate goal, the company’s CEO, Tom Farrell, said during an earnings call that the company is increasing its stake in the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline and doesn’t plan on curbing natural gas. RNG also transforms biomethane, a waste product that impacted emissions goals, into a potential revenue stream for farmers, who get a share of the methane sales. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. While capturing biomethane and turning it into usable fuel is clearly beneficial, it becomes problematic if used to delay the pace of electrifying buildings and to justify expanding natural gas, which is quickly becoming one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Ryan W. Childress is responsible for sourcing, analysis and execution of new business strategies for Dominion Energy’s Gas Infrastructure Group. The investment expands operations that capture the methane from manure lagoons of Smithfield’s pig farmers, which is then processed by Dominion and can be used interchangeably with fracked natural gas in pipelines. As a food company, the corporation says it lacked the expertise to move into the RNG market. Get articles like this delivered to your inbox. "We also have similar cultures; we care a lot about contributing to our communities and we have a huge focus on safety and sustainability," added Ryan Childress, Dominion’s director of business development. Ryan Childress (left), Dominion Energy's director of gas business development, and Kraig Westerbeek, an executive at pork producer Smithfield Foods, stand on a plastic-covered manure pond in North Carolina. Livestock production is emissions-intensive, accounting for about 14.5 percent of all human-caused emissions. In fact, because the reduction in methane emissions from manure lagoons far outweighs the carbon dioxide emissions from burning it, it's sometimes considered a "negative-carbon" fuel that cancels out other greenhouse emissions. Ryan Childress (left), Dominion Energy's director of gas business development, and Kraig Westerbeek, an executive at pork producer Smithfield Foods, stand on a plastic-covered manure pond in North Carolina. "We've got audacious goals,” said Ryan Childress, Dominion Energy. Community activists say that capturing methane, by itself, is not the answer. The gas lifts the plastic layer and makes it bulge like the floor of a child's bouncy castle. People who live near those farms have complained about the smell, especially when farmers spray waste on fields. Some nearby residents would rather see them removed entirely. " We also have similar cultures; we care a lot about contributing to our communities and we have a huge focus on safety and sustainability," added Ryan Childress, Dominion’s director of business development. On most farms, that gas just goes floating off into the air — and contributes to the overheating of the planet. "We've got half a billion dollars behind it. The manure lagoons at the center of this project are the focus of heated controversy in North Carolina for reasons unrelated to their greenhouse emissions. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. Dominion Energy . Farmers also stand to earn more money, since they'll get a share of the methane sales. rather than natural gas-fired power plants proposed by Dominion. But Smithfield and the electric and gas utility Dominion Energy have formed a partnership with much bigger plans. The partnership brings both companies closer to their sustainability goals. In a release, the company said that capturing the methane from farms will offset "any remaining methane and carbon dioxide emissions from the company's natural gas operations. He is responsible for sourcing, analysis and execution of new business strategies for Dominion Energy’s Gas Infrastructure Group. The Dominion and Smithfield teams say the partnership is a natural fit. They want farmers to adopt new technologies for handling hog waste that get rid of lagoons altogether. "We've got half a billion dollars behind it. Cloudflare Ray ID: 5ec4deeae9bf0843 California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) is one of the stronger markets, offering around $200 per credit, incentivizing farmers and financiers across the country to cash in. In the past, farms tried to make electricity onsite with biodigester engines that were complicated and expensive. Twice in recent years, manure lagoons have flooded during hurricanes. • The two companies announced at the end of last year they are doubling down on their program Align Renewable Natural Gas, a partnership spearheaded in 2018 to produce biomethane (also known as renewable natural gas, or RNG). Smithfield has been looking for ways to use manure beyond fertilizer for years. They're planning to spend $500 million building the infrastructure to capture methane from hundreds of hog farms, mostly in North Carolina.

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