The renewable natural gas can also be used to heat homes, power businesses, and fuel vehicles


Image: Dominion and Smithfield have doubled their investment in Align RNG project in the US. Photo: courtesy of PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay.

US-based power and energy company Dominion Energy and meat-packing plants company Smithfield Foods have unveiled plans to double their investment in Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) joint venture to $500m to expand their partnership in the US.

The additional investment is made to pursue new projects across the country, including in Arizona and California.

In November 2018, both companies formed Align Renewable Natural Gas with an investment of $250m over 10 years to capture methane from Smithfield-owned and contract hog farms and convert it into clean RNG.

The additional $250m investment is being made to produce enough RNG to power more than 70,000 homes and businesses by 2029.

The renewable natural gas can be used to heat homes, power businesses and fuel vehicles.

Align RNG’s project in Milford, Utah, is expected to be operational this year

Smithfield Foods president and CEO Kenneth Sullivan said: “After researching ways to transform manure into renewable energy for nearly two decades, Smithfield, together with our partners, has developed a proven business model that can be expanded at scale across the country.

“These efforts culminated in 2016 when Smithfield led the industry as the first major protein company to adopt a far-reaching GHG reduction goal throughout its entire supply chain.

“We followed this announcement in 2017 with the launch of Smithfield Renewables, a platform that unified our industry-leading carbon reduction and renewable energy initiatives.”

Align RNG’s project in Milford, Utah, which will produce enough RNG to power more than 3,000 local homes and businesses, is expected to be operational this year.

Upon completion of the project, 2.5m tonnes of greenhouse gases will be prevented from entering the atmosphere, which is equivalent to taking more than 500,000 cars off the road or planting more than 40m trees.

Dominion Energy gas infrastructure group president and CEO Diane Leopold said: “We’re not only reducing greenhouse gas emissions, we’re also turning a waste product into a clean energy resource.

“We’re capturing 25 times more greenhouse gas emissions from the farm than are ever released when the gas is used to heat homes or power businesses.”

In February this year, Dominion Energy announced an initiative to reduce methane emissions from its natural gas infrastructure by 50% over the next decade, based on 2010 levels.