Pork industry wants Duke to use NC swine waste at plants
Duke Energy has stirred controversy in North Carolina’s hog industry with plans to burn biogas from out-of-state swine waste at its Dan River and Buck power plants.
The N.C. Pork Council wants state officials to squelch the Charlotte-based utility’s plan to rely on hog waste from the Midwest to meet the requirements of a state law calling on electric companies to use small amounts of swine-based fuel in their operations.
North Carolina has an abundance of its own hog waste, and the utility should be required to tap those sources in meeting the state standard, said Angie Maier, director of policy development and communication for the hog-industry council that’s headquartered in Raleigh.
“We believe that the intent of the General Assembly was for North Carolina farmers to participate in renewable energy and not for it to benefit farmers in other states,” Maier said of the law that sets minimum levels of “swine waste resources” utilities must use in producing power for North Carolina’s retail electric customers.
The dispute is playing out in the state Utilities Commission, which regulates Duke and other utilities that provide retail electric power.
Duke Energy asked the commission this summer to designate the Dan and Buck plants, located, respectively, near Eden and Salisbury, as “renewable energy facilities” allowed to burn relatively small amounts of the biofuel from hog-waste refiners in Missouri and Oklahoma.