Swinerton’s waste-to-energy arm breaks ground on US’ largest biogas facility

California-based construction company Swinerton Builders has announced that it has broken ground on the largest utility-scale biogas facility in the US, a plant that transforms animal and food waste into clean energy.

Swinerton's newly formed waste-to-energy group has partnered with Carbon Cycle Energy (C2e) to build this plant, which is the first construction assignment of this type for Swinerton.

"Swinerton Builders is excited to be part of such a strong team of professionals on this first of several biomethane plants," said Kerry Atkinson, Swinerton's waste to energy division manager.

Atkinson added: "Each plant will help stimulate local economies, make a positive and meaningful impact on the environment while easing our country's dependency on fossil fuels."

Located in Warsaw, North Carolina, this large-scale project is expected to take 16 months to complete, and will lead to 40 permanent jobs when opened. With support from a dedicated Swinerton team in Colorado, this is the first of four waste-to-energy plants which will produce and capture biomethane gas on a utility scale and be sold to various end users.

"Over the past decade, core members of the C2e founders team developed a strong, successful history working with Swinerton Builders on high-profile projects in the energy sector. Upon branching out into the waste-to-energy arena, Swinerton was a clear first choice to be Carbon Cycle Energy's EPC partner in the design and construction of our commercial-scale biogas facilities," said Jerald Kovacich, COO and founder of C2e. "All of us at C2e have the utmost confidence, trust, and respect for the Swinerton team."

The 82-acre site will soon turn 4,200 tonnes per day of solid and liquid biodegradable materials into a biomethane gas, with a goal of producing 6,500 dekatherms of biomethane per day.

The plant will process organic waste feedstock product from 10-20 local farm producers of hogs and chicken waste in the area, which had been collecting liquefied waste in cesspools and spraying it on planted fields.

When the plant reaches full capacity, it will generate more than one billion cubic meters of pipeline-quality biomethane gas over its 15-year contract with Duke Energy. Duke Energy will use the gas to generate electricity with a yield of approximately 125,000 MW annually, enough to power 32,000 homes per year.

This delivery method will allow local municipalities to achieve North Carolina's renewable energy goals and the required environmental quality standards. The C2e plant will address the state's environmental performance goals by eliminating the discharge of animal waste from water supplies and substantially reduce atmospheric emissions from participating farms.

Swinerton and C2e also have future agreements in place to build similar plants in Arizona, Arkansas, and Missouri.

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