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Duke Energy, SustainRNG partner on dairy AD projects

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Duke Energy, headquartered in North Carolina, US, has partnered with SustainRNG to harness renewable natural gas (RNG) on dairy farms.

Sustain RNG, an RNG developer in the agriculture sector also based in Charlotte, North Carolina, will engineer, finance, construct, and operate RNG sites in collaboration with dairy farmers. By capturing and processing methane from farms into RNG, the two firms will provide a locally generated renewable energy source to end-users nationwide via injection into the existing natural gas pipeline network.

Trane Technologies developed the advanced methane generation technology and has exclusively licensed its system to SustainRNG for use in the agricultural sector. The technology uses specialised anaerobic digestion units, or parallel flow digesters, that stratify the flow of particles by size, facilitating the breakdown of the organic materials in manure.

SustainRNG is initially targeting the use of the technology to deploy digesters on dairy farms of 3,000-6,000 head that use water wash-down manure management, which is currently an underserved niche in the dairy digester market.

Phillip Grigsby, Duke Energy’s senior vice-president of ventures and business development, said: “Duke Energy is committed to supporting sustainable energy solutions, and our partnership with SustainRNG will bring more RNG to the market, which benefits both the environment and our customers.

“In addition, these projects will create jobs, both in the construction and ongoing operation of the RNG facilities.”

“We are excited to be partnering with dairy farmers who will be co-owners of the projects and have a stake in their success,” added SustainRNG’s CEO, Michael Shore.

“Equally important, our projects will help farmers to be more sustainable locally and leverage the power of the agriculture sector to mitigate climate change.”

Duke Energy has invested in a minority share of the company and retains the option to invest in future operating projects. SustainRNG expects to complete its first project in 2021.