Pig waste-to-energy project wins award in N.C.

Google helped fund the hog-waste demonstration project.

Google helped fund the hog-waste demonstration project. 

A sustainable energy project in Yadkin County that converts pig waste into useable electricity has won Cavanaugh & Associates an award from the American Council of Engineering Companies.

The Winston-Salem-based firm won the 2013 "Grand Conceptor Engineering Excellence Award" in North Carolina for outstanding engineering accomplishments. The system, with Cavanaugh's Gus Simmons as lead designer, captures methane released by bacteria from pig waste to use as fuel for a 65-kilowatt microturbine generator that powers the farm.

The demonstration project was funded by state and federal agencies and private companies including Duke Energy Corp. (NYSE: DUK), Duke University and Google Inc. (NYSE: GOOG) The system was installed on Loyd Ray Farms in Yadkinville, which has about 9,000 swine and is designed to reduce the environmental impacts of hog farms and reduce odors and emissions, Simmons said.

“Not only are we able to treat the waste without adding cost to the farm owner, the revenues generated by the project repay the capital cost for construction,” he said.

Cavanaugh's project will go on compete for the ACEC's National Engineering Excellence Award.

From the Triad Business Journal.

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