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Duke Energy to buy pig and chicken waste for biogas production in North Carolina

North Carolina, US-based Duke Energy will buy swine and poultry waste output to use as feedstock for a planned biogas facility to generate renewable electricity at four power stations.

Carbon Cycle Energy will build and own the plant whose location has not been announced, but is expected to be in eastern North Carolina.

"It is encouraging to see the technological advances that allow waste-to-energy projects in North Carolina to be done in an environmentally responsible and cost-effective manner for our customers," said David Fountain, president at Duke Energy - North Carolina.

Under the state's Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS), energy companies must meet specific compliance targets for swine and poultry waste.

Duke is already buying electricity generated from other facilities in the state.

"We are pleased to partner with Carbon Cycle Energy to help meet our compliance objectives," added Fountain. "The gas from this project will generate carbon neutral electricity compared to the emissions that would result if the waste was left to decay naturally."

Expanding the utility's renewable energy output, the captured methane will be treated, injected into the pipeline system and used at four Duke Energy plants in North Carolina.

"We are pleased Duke Energy is supportive of our facility," said James Powell, CEO at Carbon Cycle Energy. "We still have additional work to do with licensing, local regulations, and completing our organic waste supply chain. But having a confirmed buyer like Duke Energy is a major step."

Under a 15-year term, Carbon Cycle Energy is expected to produce more than 1 million MMBtus of pipeline-quality captured methane a year.

Duke should yield about 125,000MWh of renewable energy a year, enough to power about 10,000 homes for a year.

The renewable energy credits (RECs) generated annually by the effort will help satisfy state mandates.