Winston-Salem, NC –

Jolanka Nickerman, Google’s director of carbon offsets, announced Internet giant, Google, will invest in high-quality carbon offset credits generated from a swine farm that was transformed into a green-energy animal waste treatment facility designed by Cavanaugh & Associates, P. A. Headquartered in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Cavanaugh, in partnership with Duke University and Duke Energy, developed this $1.2 million prototype system at Loyd Ray Farms, a 9,000-head hog finishing operation northwest of Yadkinville, N.C.

In an effort to bolster sustainable agriculture by reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions and creating alternate revenue sources, Cavanaugh was commissioned by Duke University to develop a biomass renewable energy project that generates electricity from the methane gases produced and captured by the innovative swine waste management system. Methane is captured from a digester and used to fuel a microturbine to generate electricity. Methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide, as a green house gas, and this project is designed to capture and combust all the methane generated by the farm’s waste treatment system.

In keeping with the innovative approach to managing waste produced on this hog farm, Loyd Ray Farm is the first swine facility in North Carolina to generate REC credits and produce enough electricity to power over 35 homes a year. Like Duke, who credits the greenhouse gas emission reductions (otherwise known as carbon offsets) toward its voluntary carbon neutrality goal, Google is a proponent of green energy and investing in alternative energy projects like the one found at Loyd Ray Farms. Google announced today that it is purchasing carbon offsets from this project.

Both Duke University and Cavanaugh hope this is the first of many swine farm biomass energy projects in the Southeast. “Loyd Ray Farms is a testament to the importance of creating sustainable agriculture and Cavanaugh’s commitment to Stewardship through Innovation when it comes to finding ways to keep North Carolina moving forward,” said Cavanaugh’s CEO, Steve Cavanaugh. “Because this is our home too, Cavanaugh welcomes creative partnerships with companies like Google who support the idea of using animal “waste” as an alternative fuel source. It’s truly a win-win scenario for us and our environment.”

For more information on the Loyd Ray Farm project or to obtain a detailed description of the project in PDF form, please contact:

Gus Simmons, PE, Principal in Charge/Designer: or 1-877-557.8924.