Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, Inc., recently announced the completion of the first renewable natural gas (RNG) project through their joint venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas. Located in Milford in southwestern Utah, the project is now producing RNG from a network of 26 family farms that raise hogs under contract with Smithfield.
The companies say the project is the first large-scale effort in the state to capture methane from hog farming operations and convert it into clean energy for homes, businesses, and transportation. Significantly more greenhouse gas emissions are captured from the farms than are released when consumers use the gas, which makes RNG a “carbon-beneficial” energy source.
At full capacity, the project will produce enough RNG to heat more than 3,000 homes and businesses and reduce annual emissions from participating farms by more than 100,000 metric tons. That is the same as taking 23,000 cars off the road or planting 1.8 million new trees each year. Additionally, the project benefits participating family farmers by simplifying the process of and reducing the cost associated with manure management.
Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods formed Align RNG in November 2018, committing $250 million over 10 years to capture methane from Smithfield’s company-owned and contract hog farms and convert it into clean RNG. With the additional $250 million investment announced in 2019, the companies will produce enough RNG to power more than 70,000 homes and businesses by 2029.