Inside look at Duke Energy's hog waste to power operation

DUPLIN COUNTY, NC (WITN) A first-of-its-kind project is taking off right here the east by using the agriculture industry to fuel our community's energy grid for years to come.

We told you about the plan last week and now we're getting an up close look.

Duplin County is an industry leader when it comes to the swine industry.

But with a new and complex piece of equipment, those swine won't just be used to put food on our tables, they'll also be powering our homes by turning animal waste into energy.

It's happening at a refinery outside Kenansville.

Project designer Gus Simmons says, "The natural gas that we produce is sold to Duke Energy."

The project is expected to yield about 11,000 megawatt-hours of electricity which is enough to power about 1,000 homes.

This project -- called "Optima KV," takes the biogas from hog waste and repairs it to make methane or natural gas.

Simmons says, "They will use that natural gas at one of their existing cycle plants, so one of their power plants that currently buys natural gas off the pipeline that comes from out of state, will use our own natural gas from right here in North Carolina. This is the first time that natural gas from any source has ever been placed into the North Carolina pipeline from within our states border."

If this project continues it will continue to help Duke Energy meet state mandated requirements for energy efficiency.