Duke University Takes a Closer Look at Biogas from Pig Farms

Duke University last week said it will delay indefinitely plans to build a combined heat and power (CHP) plant and focus on displacing natural gas used on campus with biogas from pig farms in North Carolina.

“Duke has an aggressive goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2024 while ensuring that the energy demands of a growing, vibrant campus can be met,” Duke Executive Vice President Tallman Trask.  “While CHP technology creates much greater efficiencies for both the consumer and the producer, we also recognize that advances in technology provide a constantly changing range of options and deserve further study.”

A 2016 proposal by the university and local utility Duke Energy to build the CHP facility was met with concerns about its environmental impact.

Duke said it conducted a pilot project in 2010 to test the viability of biogas at Loyd Ray Farms in Yadkinville, N.C., and is working with potential suppliers to expand the production and delivery to the campus. 

“We are committed to support and foster the development of a renewable biogas market in North Carolina that reduces reliance on fossil fuels and provides opportunities for positive community, environmental, economic and policy outcomes in the state,” Trask said.  “At the same time, we will continue to pursue energy efficiency, solar energy and other strategies to meet our climate goals.”

Lead image credit: Nan-Cheng Tsai | Flickr

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