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February 10, 2020 Jeremy Boren

Dominion Energy Farms New Power Source, Coca-Cola’s Paper Bottle, ARC Update

Energy and Agriculture Companies Tap Into Novel Renewable Energy

Dominion Energy of Virginia and Vanguard Renewables Ag of Massachusetts are teaming up to purchase methane from dairy farms and convert it into a natural gas, AP reports.

The $200 million partnership aims to take methane, a greenhouse gas produced when cow manure breaks down, and turn it into a renewable, useful source of electricity for thousands of homes.

Initially, the project will work with farms in New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Georgia.

“This is a huge win for the environment, for family farms and for our customers,” said Ryan Childress, director of gas partnership business development at Dominion Energy. “It’s exciting to cross industries to team up agriculture and energy.”

Digester tanks equipped with bladders would collect the methane and pipe it to Dominion for processing, preventing much of the greenhouse gas from escaping into the atmosphere.

Dominion has invested heavily in other renewables, as well, including solar and on-shore and off-shore wind farms.

Paboco Tests Paper Bottles for Coca-Cola, Carlsberg Beer, L’Oreal

Could your ice cold Coke one day come from a paper (or wood fiber) bottle that breaks down after it’s used?

It’s possible, according to a very early stage project by Paboco. The name is short for paper bottle company.

It’s a cooperative effort of Coca-Cola, Absolut, Carlsberg and L’Oreal, according to Greenbiz.com.

“Together, they are working on prototypes of bio-based containers of varying shapes and sizes that use wood fiber, rather than glass or some form of fabric, to hold anything from lotions to carbonated beverages (a particularly thorny challenge).”

Among the many challenges is how to build a wood fiber bottle that can keep out oxygen and withstand being exposed to water vapor. Some companies are incorporating a thin plastic film inside the bottle — made of recycled material. However, the ultimate goal is a fully wood fiber product that’s made from trees that are responsible harvested and replanted.

Coca-Cola is working toward a pledge of making all of its packaging recycle by 2025 and using 50 percent renewable or recyclable materials in everything it makes by 2030.

Carlsberg has already produced some prototype bottles (pictured above).

2020 ARC Industry Forum

GrayMatter was at the ARC Industry Forum where we learned the latest companies like GE Digital, Carrier, Chevron, Shell, Dow, Covestro, Kohler, Owens Corning, Duke Energy and many others over four days beginning Feb. 3. The forum was designed to explore the latest thinking about digital transformation, IoT, cybersecurity and machine learning.

Life at the Edge

  • Two major themes dominated the panel discussions and executive keynotes at the ARC Industry Forum in Orlando: IT/OT Convergence and Everything “Edge.” That’s Edge-based Analytics, Intelligent Edge, State of the Edge, IoT Edge, Edge Devices, Industrial Edge and, what we’re all hoping for: Edge Success, to name just a few of the discussion topics.
  • “It’s interesting to see how IT/OT convergence is starting to become much more of a conversation at ARC, especially around cybersecurity,” said GrayMatter Cybersecurity Lead Scott Christensen. “People are realizing that it can’t be just one side of the house or the other that owns cyber. It’s both.”

Changing Workforce

  • Another prominent theme at ARC is the need to invest in digital plant floor solutions to cope with workforce changes. In the keynote “Implementing and Sustaining Transformational Change,” which featured executives from Covestro, Owens Corning and Georgia-Pacific, the panel estimated 40 percent of factory floor employees are nearing retirement, highlighting the need to find new efficiencies and reduce the learning curve for new workers through digital transformation.
  • The panel also shared two key insights about going through a digital transformation: Engage your operators early in the process to build ownership and interest in the changes to come; and make sure to have dedicated leadership support.

Cyber Maturity

  • “I think we’re also seeing more maturity in cybersecurity in OT,” Christensen said. Are we ever. The ARC Industry Forum dedicated no fewer than 14 sessions and two workshop tracks to covering cybersecurity issues including risks in deploying IoT devices, making cybersecurity a priority and developing a Defense in Depth strategy.

emPOWERUP Series — More Speakers More Cities


Register to attend one GrayMatter’s emPOWERUP Series Events designed by and for operational technology specialists in manufacturing, water/wastewater, oil and gas and many other industries.

In addition to Tempe (Arizona), Salt Lake City, Denver, and Orlando; we’ve just added Pittsburgh, Chicago, Toronto and Houston to our schedule.

Check out the latest agenda and city schedule here, where you can also register.

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Jeremy Boren

Jeremy is GrayMatter's Brand Manager and the author of TechHub and the emPOWERUP Podcast. He writes about digital solutions, trends and culture in the world of operational technology. Jeremy's background is in daily journalism. He has a passion for storytelling and enjoys highlighting the technologies and professionals taking on complex challenges in manufacturing, energy, cybersecurity and infrastructure.