Natural gas plan aims to be a boost for Lowcountry industries, farmers

Lowcountry Farm

A Charleston-based renewable energy fund has struck an agreement with Dominion Energy Carolina Gas that will boost natural gas capacity for the utility’s customers and help recruit new industry to the area.

The two sides will build an injection point in Georgetown that will enable GreenGasUSA to add renewable natural gas to the Virginia utility giant’s interstate pipeline to help meet growing demand for the energy source. It will be the first injection site on Dominion’s pipeline.

GreenGasUSA will get its natural gas from farms and landfills through the use of large-scale anaerobic digesters — sealed, oxygen-free tanks in which hog waste, unusable crops or other organic material are broken down to produce methane. The otherwise harmful methane is captured in the digesters and converted into natural gas that can heat homes and power businesses.

The gas will be transported to Georgetown by NeoGas, a company GreenGasUSA acquired earlier this year.

“A new injection point in Georgetown will provide additional natural gas to the fast-growing Lowcountry, enabling South Carolina to continue to pursue and attract new industrial prospects, as well as give all customers access to renewable natural gas supply,” said Wayne Vermullen, general manager for Dominion Energy Carolina Gas Transmission.

Marc Fetten, founder of GreenGasUSA, said the deal will let farmers generate extra income while eliminating problematic waste streams. It will also give the Georgetown area an incentive for attracting new industry dependent on the energy source, according to Brian Tucker, the county’s director of economic development.

The value of the investment was not disclosed, but Fetten said it will create 15 jobs.

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