Hog farmers and state regulators are asking questions about Duke Energy’s plan to source methane from hog waste lagoons in the Midwest instead of North Carolina. WRAL reports:
A 2007 state law requires utilities to obtain a certain amount of the energy they provide from renewable sources, and tax credits are provided for the suppliers of solar, wind and converted animal waste energy. The estimated 8.7 million hogs in North Carolina produce plenty of waste, and farmers want to know why their pigs aren’t being used more for that power.
Six farms in the state capture methane produced by hog waste lagoons to produce electricity, but Duke officials say that doesn’t come close to meeting their renewable energy requirement. So, the utility wants to sign deals to get it’s methane from animal waste in Missouri and Oklahoma.
Duke Energy contends N.C. lacks the infrastructure to effectively harvest methane from lagoons, making the out-of-state purchase necessary. In response, pork producers have taken their complaint to the North Carolina Utilities Commission, which is expected to issue a ruling in the coming weeks.
“We would prefer that Duke take advantage of North Carolina resources,” said Angie Maier, spokeswoman for the North Carolina Pork Council. “We don’t think the intent of the General Assembly in 2007 was for farmers in Missouri to reap the benefits or North Carolina’s renewable energy law.”
Read the full article here.