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January 17, 2019 Jeremy Boren

TechHub: Peoples Natural Gas Pledges Major Methane Reduction, AI Oversight at Your Company, GrayMatter Launches emPOWERUP, Digital Disruptors Summits

Peoples Natural Gas Uses Big Data to Set Major Methane Reduction Goal

Peoples Natural Gas is promising to cut methane emissions from its pipelines by 50 percent this year. Not by 2022 or 2025. 2019.

Methane is a major greenhouse gas. The Environmental Defense Fund attributes 25 percent of manmade global warming to methane.

Peoples worked with Carnegie Mellon University, Google and the Environmental Defense Fund to develop an approach that would allow it to detect small methane leaks along 950 miles of pipelines in the Pittsburgh area alone.

Peoples believes it can achieve a 50 percent reduction based on two years of data it has collected about its system. It is working with a new methane detection technology that allows inspectors to detect traces of methane in parts per billion, instead of parts per million, the standard among most utilities.

“According to our experts, by isolating the worst 20% of leaks and replacing those pipelines, we can achieve our 50% methane reduction goal,” Peoples said. “We’re focusing our pipeline replacement efforts in the City of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas, where we have the heaviest concentration of bare metal pipes. This innovative methane monitoring system will enable us to more confidently pinpoint the most significant methane emissions and more effectively replace those pipelines with safe, durable plastic pipes.”

Peoples provides natural gas service to 700,000 customers in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.

Does Your Company Need a Center of Excellence Dedicated to AI? These Researchers Think So

  • “Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Anthem, and Farmers Insurance are among the non-tech firms that have created centralized AI oversight groups,” according to Harvard Business Review.
  • “In one recent survey of U.S. executives from large firms using AI, 37% said they had already established such an organization,” HBR said.
  • “This is an important business tool that cannot be left to bottom-up whimsy.”

Writers Thomas H. Davenport and Shivaji Dasgupta made some key recommendations for large companies that want to foster their AI-related capabilities in a piece that appeared in Harvard Business Review.

Among the recommendations: Create a network of “AI champions,” establish a vision for using and deploying AI and identify some business-driven use cases.

They also suggest calibrating the level of ambition by starting with pilot projects rather than a moon shot.

“This may require a ‘road map’ with multiple use cases across a timeline. An AI center can help a company ‘think big, but start small’ with AI.”

GrayMatter Launches 3 New Learning Opportunities

There’s still time to sign up for our iFIX 6.0 “Ask the Experts” online forum at 2 p.m. Jan. 24.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from Scott Duhaime of GE Digital and high-performance HMI graphics expert Dave Geiger of GrayMatter.

If you’ll be in the Salt Lake City area, enroll to join us for emPOWERUP: The Summit for OT Specialists from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 26.

The summit is designed to provide educational OT updates for engineers, operators and managers who thrive on the plant floor.

Stay tuned for more details about speakers and the full agenda.


In Pittsburgh on April 25, register now to attend GrayMatter’s Digital Disruptors Series at the Carnegie Science Center. The half-day session will focus on implementing IoT technologies, harnessing big data and GrayMatter customer success stories. The session is aimed at creating a collaborative atmosphere to help companies move forward with their digital transformations.

The kick off the event, we will feature keynote talks from Mark DeSantis, CEO of Roadbotics; Toni Murphy, VP of Business Services at Comcast Business; and GrayMatter CEO Jim Gillespie.

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.