The 600 kW Storms Hog Power facility — North Carolina’s largest swine waste-to-energy system — is operating at full capacity.
The plant at the Storms Hog Farm near Bladenboro, NC, has been in near constant operation since it came on line Oct. 4, 2013, and has sustained peak or near peak output for the past 90 days, the company says.
Storms Hog Power anaerobic digester and renewable energy generating system, in tandem with an enhanced animal waste extraction and collection system that uses scrapers instead of flush water to remove manure from the houses, reduces the negative environmental impacts of the current lagoon and spray field manure management systems, while profitably generating renewable energy and other valuable byproducts.
Manure collected daily from nearly 30,000 hogs, formerly treated in open air lagoons, mixed with off-site agricultural wastes that were previously either land applied or destined for a landfill, is biologically decomposed in an oxygen-free, 1.2 million gallon reinforced concrete vessel. The bacteria in the digester metabolically break down the organic waste streams and generate energy-rich biogas, while destroying nearly all of the pathogens and odor. The biogas is combusted in an engine/generator, sending enough clean renewable electricity to the local utility to offset the electricity consumption of nearly 300 average size homes in the area.
North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation purchases all of the electricity under a long-term contract. This revenue, combined with tipping fees for processing the off-site agricultural waste, the sale of the carbon credits and Renewable Energy Certificates, and the sale of other valuable byproducts, support the sustained operation and maintenance of the facility.
In other waste-to-energy news, Chevron Energy Solutions last month said it will design and build a waste-to-energy plant at Broward County, Fla.’s wastewater treatment facility. The project, which will generate electricity from fats, oils and grease (FOG), is expected to generate almost 2MW of power, reduce electricity usage by over 30 percent and save the county nearly $27 million in its first 17 years of operation.