Image: Kevin Schraer via flickr Creative Commons license

Construction has begun on a $100 million facility in North Carolina that will convert hog and other agricultural waste into pipeline-quality methane gas for use in Duke Energy power plants. The facility, being built by a Colorado energy developer, will be the largest of its type in the nation. The Carbon Cycle Energy project, being built near Warsaw, will help satisfy biomass generation requirements under the state’s 2007 renewable energy mandate. North Carolina was the first state in the Southeast to adopt a renewable energy mandate for electric utilities, and it is the only state that requires a portion of its clean energy to come from agricultural resources that remain largely untapped, including hog waste and poultry droppings. The project is expected to produce about 290,000 megawatt hours a year when it’s operating at full capacity in 2018. The plant will source the agricultural waste from more than 25 producers within a 75-mile radius, Powell said.

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