Dominion Energy officials on Tuesday announced their intent to reduce methane emissions from their natural-gas infrastructure by 50 percent over the next decade, the equivalent of taking 2.3 million cars off the road for a year, or planting 180 million trees.
The primary focus will be on reducing and eliminating gas venting during maintenance, to keep methane in Dominion’s system and out of the atmosphere.
“We recognize we need to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to further combat climate change,” said Diane Leopold, president and CEO of Dominion Energy’s Gas Infrastructure Group. “We’ve made significant progress, but we’re determined to go much further. With this initiative, we are transforming the way we do business to build a more sustainable future for the planet, our customers, and our industry.”
In addition to reducing and eliminating gas venting where possible, Dominion officials also plan to replace older equipment across its infrastructure, and expand leak detection and repair programs.
Gas venting during planned maintenance and inspection is the largest source of methane emissions from Dominion Energy’s transmission and distribution pipeline system.
One way they are working to keep vented methane out of the atmosphere is through the use of patented Zero Emissions Vacuum and Compression units, which capture methane prior to maintenance or inspection so it can be recycled and used.
Dominion recently purchased 16 such units for widespread use across its distribution and transmission pipeline systems.
“Instead of venting methane when we do maintenance or inspection, we’re now capturing, recycling and reusing it so it stays in our system and out of the atmosphere,” said Leopold.
Dominion Energy supplies nearly 7.5 million customers in 18 states with electricity or natural gas.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.