That'll do, pig

Utilities are scrambling to find partners to help them achieve REPS-mandated conversion of hog waste into energy:

The state's electric utilities are looking for business partners that will convert swine waste into electricity. They'll pay more than they spend, themselves, to generate power from coal, natural gas or nuclear fuel. But the cost will hardly be recognizable on utility bills.

If the whole process works, everyone wins. The swine waste now stored in lagoons, which is an environmental disaster waiting to happen, will be put to a good use producing clean electricity. The air around farms will not smell as bad because the lagoons will be capped. And farmers should generate new cash from the sale of both electricity and fertilizer.

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This is not a political plug!

The facility from this video is based on the technology that NCState researchers developed after Hurricane Floyd swamped Eastern NC with hog waste from flooded lagoons. The technicians at the Orbit facitlity mentioned to me that the Department of Environment and Natural Resources regulates these anaerobic digestion facilities, that permitting costs were astronomical, and that legislative hurdles were still the biggest stumbling block between hundreds of these plants going on-line.