GASTON, S.C. — It's a case of piggies providing power and it's a first for South Carolina.
Officials with Santee Cooper, Environmental Fabrics Inc., a firm based in Gaston, S.C., and Clemson University on Monday announced the construction of a new plant to generate electricity from the methane released by hog waste.
The methane digester will be built on a Williamsburg County hog farm and the electricity generated will be used by customers of Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility.
Environmental Fabrics is building the methane digester that officials say will produce enough electricity to power 90 South Carolina homes.
The company, based just outside Columbia, has installed more than 600 methane digesters around the world, 250 of them in the United States.
The digester expected to be operational at the Burrows Hall Farm by early this summer is the first in South Carolina, although Santee Cooper is already capturing methane from landfills to generate power.
The utility has 197 megawatts of renewable generation either online or under contract, said Marc Tye, Santee Cooper's vice president of conservation and renewable energy.