Duke Energy teams with SustainRNG to develop renewable natural gas on dairy farms

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  • Methane to be converted to renewable energy, distributed through natural gas pipelines

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK) today announced a partnership with SustainRNG to harness renewable natural gas (RNG) on dairy farms, starting in the southeastern United States.

Duke Energy has invested in a minority share of the company and retains the option to invest in future operating projects.

SustainRNG will engineer, finance, construct and operate RNG sites in collaboration with dairy farmers. By capturing and processing methane from farms into RNG, Duke Energy and SustainRNG will be able to provide a locally generated renewable energy source to end users nationwide via injection into the existing natural gas pipeline network.

Renewable natural gas is methane that has been captured from the breakdown of organic waste and processed to remove contaminants and meet natural gas pipeline quality standards. Trane Technologies invented the advanced methane generation technology and has exclusively licensed its system to SustainRNG for use in the agricultural sector.  

“Duke Energy is committed to supporting sustainable energy solutions, and our partnership with SustainRNG will bring more renewable natural gas into the market, which benefits both the environment and customers,” said Phillip Grigsby, Duke Energy’s senior vice president of ventures and business development. “In addition, these projects will create jobs, both in the construction and ongoing operation of the RNG facilities.”

The RNG projects also will provide an additional revenue stream for farmers while simultaneously reducing their waste management liability.

“We are excited to be partnering with dairy farmers, who will be co-owners of the projects and have a stake in their success,” said SustainRNG Chief Executive Officer Michael Shore. “Equally important, our projects will help farmers to be more sustainable locally and leverage the power of the agriculture sector to mitigate climate change.”

The advanced technology employed in SustainRNG’s projects uses specialized anaerobic digestion units, or parallel flow digesters, that stratify the flow of particles by size, facilitating the breakdown of the organic materials in manure. SustainRNG is initially targeting use of the technology to deploy digesters on dairy farms of 3,000 to 6,000 head that use water wash-down manure management, which is currently an underserved niche in the dairy digester market.

SustainRNG expects to complete its first project in 2021.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

About Duke Energy

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit.

Duke Energy is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing the energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves. The Electric Utilities and Infrastructure unit’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. The Gas Utilities and Infrastructure unit distributes natural gas to more than 1.6 million customers in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The Duke Energy Renewables unit operates wind and solar generation facilities across the U.S., as well as energy storage and microgrid projects.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2020 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list, and Forbes’ 2019 “America’s Best Employers” list. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

About SustainRNG

SustainRNG is an agile, entrepreneurial developer of renewable natural gas projects in the agriculture sector formed to commercialize the advanced methane generation technology under license from Trane Technologies. The company is transforming how the agriculture sector manages manure, helping farmers be more sustainable, and leveraging the power of the agriculture sector to solve climate change. SustainRNG was founded by CleanSource Capital, based in Charlotte, N.C., and is an affiliate of the Abundant Power Group. The company can be reached at info@sustainrng.com.

Media contact: Jason Wheatley