Duke Energy to Buy Swine, Poultry Waste Biogas From Planned North Carolina Facility

– by John Downey, March 19, 2016, Charlotte Business Journal

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Photo: Bloomberg

Duke Energy has signed agreements to buy biogas generated by swine waste, poultry waste and other biomass sources from a processing facility to be built in eastern North Carolina. Filings with the N.C. Utilities Commission say Carbon Cycle Energy, based in Boulder, Colo., will build the biogas project.

Duke (NYSE:DUK) confirms it will use what is called “directed biogas” from Carbon Cycle to produce some power at four of its plants — its Buck Combined Cycle Plant in Rowan County, Dan River Combined Cycle Plant in Rockingham County, H.F. Lee Combined Cycle Plant in Wayne County and Sutton Combined Cycle Plant near Wilmington.

The company had said Thursday that it expected to have an announcement soon on a deal involving power from swine waste. That announcement is likely to come early next week.

Late filings

The company made filings with state regulators late Friday afternoon about the agreements at Buck, Dan River and Sutton. Duke spokesman Randy Wheeless confirmed Saturday that these were the swine-waste deals that Duke planned to announce and added that Carbon Cycle would also sell biogas to Lee.

“This is very good news, we believe,” Wheeless says. “It is a win for the utility and a win for the swine and poultry industry.”

The amount of power produced by the renewable gas will still be relatively small. But it will put Duke on the path to meet state renewable energy requirements for power production from the animal wastes.

‘Major step’

Under a 15-year term, Carbon Cycle is expected to produce more than 1 billion cubic meters of pipeline-quality methane a year. Duke should yield about 125,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy a year — enough to power about 10,000 homes for a year.

“We are pleased Duke Energy is supportive of our facility in North Carolina,” says Carbon Cycle CEO James Powell. “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.”

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