Piedmont Natural Gas and its parent company, Duke Energy, have executed plans to reduce methane emissions, resulting in a methane intensity of 0.0988% for our 2022 emissions. We are continuing these efforts by establishing an actionable methane reduction goal by committing to reduce methane emissions to net-zero by 2030. This paves the way for responsible growth of our natural gas distribution system and furthers our journey toward a clean energy future.
Piedmont serves more than 1 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Our natural gas system includes 26,000 miles of transmission and distribution pipelines. We have made tremendous progress in modernizing our pipeline system and reducing methane emissions, having invested significant capital since 2000.
How we plan to reduce downstream methane emissions
We have invested $1 billion over 15 years and eliminated all cast iron and bare steel pipes in our system, removing a substantial contributor to methane leakage. We replaced these pipes with nearly 1,450 miles of modern, plastic or coated steel pipelines. This replacement has resulted in a 95.62% reduction of methane, or 5,663.49 metric tons/year.
Note: This is calculated utilizing EPA GHGRP emission factors relative to miles/material type of pipe removed and replaced.
We are pilot testing and deploying new technologies to improve our measurement and monitoring of methane emissions.
- Developed a first-of-its-kind methane-emissions platform that detects leaks and measures real-time methane emissions in natural gas distribution systems using satellites, sensors and other technologies – a first for natural gas utilities.
- Reducing blow down and flaring activities during routine maintenance by using cross compression technology to capture methane and routing it to another pipe.
- Deploying gas cloud imaging cameras at select stationary assets to monitor and measure methane leaks with immediate alerts.
Our damage-reduction initiatives help reduce the unintended escape of methane when third parties strike our pipelines.
- Deploying our expert technicians to oversee high-risk excavations under the Watch and Protect program.
- Adopted Gold Shovel Standard operating principles to improve public safety and the integrity of buried infrastructure.
- Proactively working to reduce leak inventory faster.
We have adopted a “Find It, Fix It” strategy. By increasing our leak survey frequency across our distribution system from five years to three years, we can identify and repair potential leaks more quickly.
- Continuing to survey our transmission lines quarterly through aerial and on-foot inspections.
We plan to employ net carbon offset techniques for any small, remaining emissions not captured through monitoring and operational improvements.
- Achieve net-zero goals by the deployment of renewable natural gas and other climate solutions, such as forestry projects or bio energy with sequestration.
- GreenEdge is a voluntary program for Piedmont small business and residential customers to easily and affordably offset emissions from their natural gas usage. The funds from GreenEdge support land use projects and sustainable resources, helping to create a greener and more sustainable southeast. This program is one component of Piedmont’s efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. LEARN MORE.
Renewable natural gas is an important part of decarbonizing the natural gas system. It is considered carbon-neutral because it removes methane from the atmosphere and displaces geological gas.
- We are making investments in renewable natural gas, such as our investment in renewable natural gas project developer, Sustain RNG, and other landfill renewable natural gas projects.
- We have invested $150 million dollars year to date in renewable natural gas facilities and plan to invest $300 million dollars more in the next five years.
- We are sourcing renewable natural gas for our compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, with renewable natural gas currently available at our Nashville location. We will extend renewable natural gas to all our publicly accessible fueling stations, further increasing the environmental benefit of CNG.
Read more about how we are working toward reducing methane emissions by 2030.