Hog waste is becoming more of a valuable commodity. A new pilot program developed by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources will give hog producers an opportunity to find out for themselves.  The Methane Capture Pilot Program provides an opportunity for hog producers to register their farms for potential participation in a new program that will convert swine waste into renewable energy.

The program will select up to 50 registered swine farms to capture methane gas generated by their waste systems - either by full or partial lagoon covers - and to convert the gas to electricity through bio-gas generators. Each farm's power supplier would purchase the generated electricity for a period of seven years at a price not to exceed 18 cents per kilowatt hour. These methane conversion systems must be operational by Sept. 1, 2010.

The Division of Soil and Water Conservation will oversee the pilot program's registration process. Swine producers wishing to participate must complete a simple, online application to be considered for the program. There is no obligation to participate when registering. Once selected, the farm and its power supplier would determine the terms of the agreement.

For more information contact Vernon Cox, N.C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation, at (919) 715-6109 or vernon.cox@ncmail.net.

Source: N.C. Department of Environment & Natural Resources