Biomass, New Projects, Renewables

North Carolina waste-to-energy facility enters operations

The 600-kW Storms Hog Power (SHP) facility, near Bladenboro, North Carolina, has entered operations and is the state’s largest swine waste-to-energy system.

The project was made possible from a grant for four swine farm renewable energy pilot projects administered by the NC Department of Energy. Sam Ravenel, co-founder of Withers & Ravenel consulting engineers, and Dr. Garth Boyd, Senior Partner of The Prasino Group applied for the grant in May of 2010.

“The North Carolina Senate Bill 3, mandating that utilities have swine generated electricity as a small part of their total portfolio, enabled farmers like Mr. Storms to try something that would have been untenable without the incentive,” said Jonathan Gross, partner at CohnReznick LLP.  

Dr. Boyd formed AgPower Partners LLC (APP) with energy and real estate developer, Jeffrey R. Smerko, to develop the project.

APP also worked with DVO Inc. for its Two-Stage Mixed Plug FlowTM anaerobic digester, Martin Machinery/GenTec for its biogas engine/generator turn-key services; Barnhill Contracting Co. for construction management and expertise; and CohnReznick LLP for accounting and tax advisory services.

APP was able to facilitate construction and term debt financing through Cape Fear Farm Credit for project owner and operator, William R. Storms, who is also the farm owner and operator.

“Anaerobic digestion presents many benefits far beyond power generation,” said Steve Dvorak, owner and founder of DVO, Inc. “For progressive hog farmers like Mr. Storms, it’s also about being a good steward of the land. Our digesters reduce greenhouse gas emissions from stored and land-distributed farm wastes by roughly 90%. Pathogens in farm waste, including e-coli and salmonella, are reduced so much that they are almost undetectable, and our new nutrient recovery technologies allow for the practical removal of additional phosphorus and ammonia nitrogen. We’re excited to have been a part of this project and look forward to helping more farmers like Billy and their communities benefit from anaerobic digestion.”

North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation will purchase all power produced under a long-term contract.

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