reflections on the technium

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” — Alan Kay

Letter to entrepreneur : Verdant Earth Technologies

I was very impressed with Verdant Earth Technologies‘  controlled environment agriculture (CEA) technology, so I offered them a few ideas as to new markets they could exploit.

Subject: Controlled Environment Agriculture and the Power Industry...
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 15:03:00 -0800
From: Charles Petras <>


I've been reading about what your doing with CEA and I think its great.

You may want to investigate co-locating with data centers (up here
Quincy WA has a few) and power plants since they are big producers of
waste heat.  Typically this heat would be available as 90 deg water
flowing towards a cooling tower.  From their point of view it would give
them some green credibility to tout to their share holders and the

Actually that hookup would be a novel patentable invention (i.e., using
waste heat from whoever for your version of CEA).

You'd probably want to hook up with some of the infrastructure people.
One guy -- Mike Manos -- use to be with Microsoft and is now with DLS

My only concern is how can what your doing scale?  Obviously the
containers can be racked and stacked, but the issue seems to be
convenient access to harvest and plant each container.  It would seem
that some scheme more ameniable to automation is needed.

Beat regards,


Written by Chuck Petras

June 2, 2011 at 21:10

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