Dominion, Smithfield joint venture becomes largest supplier of renewable natural gas
Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods Inc. announced Wednesday that they would double their investment to $500 million in a joint venture converting methane to clean natural gas, creating the nation's largest supplier of renewable natural gas.
The two companies created Align Renewable Natural Gas in November 2018, allocating $250 million to the project over 10 years. With the additional funding, Align RNG is expected to power more than 70,000 homes and businesses in Virginia, North Carolina, Utah, Arizona and California by 2029. Its first project in Utah is expected to be operational this year, providing power to more than 3,000 customers at full capacity.
Align RNG captures methane gas from manure lagoons at Smithfield’s company-owned and contract hog farms, which is transferred via a biogas transmission line to a conditioning facility. After processing, the gas is delivered through underground pipelines to end users.
Smithfield pledged in 2016 to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025 across its entire supply chain. According to the companies, the fully implemented project will prevent more than 2.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere, including methane, which has been identified in some studies as having a global warming potential more than 25 times that of carbon dioxide.