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Hydro-Québec must focus on AI, according to Pierre Fitzgibbon

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar16,2024

Hydro-Québec must focus on AI, according to Pierre Fitzgibbon

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Quebec Minister of Economy and Innovation, Pierre Fitzgibbon (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

Hydro-Québec and companies must incorporate innovation and artificial intelligence into their service offering, otherwise “we will run out of electricity” to succeed in the energy transition, warned the Minister of Energy. x27;Quebec Economy and Innovation on the sidelines of the Forum on the digitalization of the electrical industry, in Montreal on Thursday.

For Pierre Fitzgibbon, Quebec will not succeed in decarbonizing its economy with wind power and dams alone: ​​Quebecers must in particular adopt the use of artificial intelligence and connected objects in their residences.

For example, the minister explained to The Canadian Press that he is counting on Hydro-Québec to eventually offer its customers the possibility of using electric car batteries to supply domestic appliances with energy.

Charging a vehicle overnight, when electricity demand is low, and redirecting that electricity to other devices during the day would help reduce pressure on the network during peak periods.

So, when we leave the dishwasher at 2 a.m., we leave the refill of the car. It puts less pressure on Hydro-Québec, so in the morning, when we get up and the children use the "toaster", it's the car battery that goes there. #x27;feed.

A quote from Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation of Quebec

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It's one thing to tell people to run the dishwasher at 2 a.m. Obviously, I made a lot of people laugh when I said that, even if I was right, but obviously, it takes more than that, indicated the minister, referring to the comments that x27;he had done this a few months ago.

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Electric vehicle batteries could provide energy to domestic devices, suggests Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon. (File photo)

Dishwashers and connected vehicles are just examples of Pierre Fitzgibbon's vision. In his opinion, several digital solutions must be developed to allow Hydro-Québec customers to better manage their consumption.

The minister also given the example of artificial intelligence developed by Brainbox, which was included in Time magazine's 100 technology companies of the year in 2020 and which even won an award at COP26 in Glasgow.

Brainbox, a Montreal company that does business in several countries, has designed an application that optimizes the energy consumption of large buildings. This application collects a multitude of data linked, for example, to the weather and the occupancy rate of a location. It then offers models that predict the optimal amount of energy that large buildings should use.

Artificial intelligence that manages the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems of our Buildings are the future.

A quote from Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation of Quebec

People are starting to realize that we do not necessarily consume well, so we must help them consume better and, for that, technology must be there, added the minister.

Before Minister Fitzgibbon speaks at the Electricity Industry Digitization Forum on Thursday, the vice-president responsible for energy planning at Hydro- Quebec, Dave Rhéaume, also addressed the entrepreneurs gathered in a hotel in downtown Montreal.

He recalled that after decades of energy surplus, convincing Quebecers of the importance of energy efficiency represents a major challenge for Hydro-Québec.

According to him, Hydro-Québec must be ready to spend at least as much money, to help [its] customers consume less than it costs to build new production, to balance the new production and to transport and distribute the new production.

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Dave Rhéaume, vice-president responsible for energy planning at Hydro-Québec (Archive photo)

According to Mr. Rhéaume, Hydro-Québec must #x27;ensure that for [its] customers, it is at least as attractive to save energy as to ask to consume more.

On this subject, the vice-president of the state corporation seems to be on the same wavelength as Minister Fitzgibbon and maintains that we must focus on new technologies, on connected objects and on artificial intelligence to allow customers to better manage their consumption.

Mr. Rhéaume alluded to products focused on consumption management, for which Hydro-Québec or the government offer financial assistance, for example smart thermostats, connected water heaters, heat pumps or even electric charging stations. cars connected to the electricity network.

These so-called intelligent terminals make it possible to recharge vehicles outside peak electricity consumption and therefore help to reduce pressure on Hydro -Québec.

However, is Hydro-Québec ready to offer its customers power to their toaster, their fridge or their television with the battery of their electric vehicle?

In an email exchange, Hydro-Québec spokesperson Louis-Olivier Batty explained that the state corporation is closely monitoring the development of technologies that enable electric vehicle batteries to provide energy to a home or the electrical grid.

The spokesperson raised the possibility that one day, several million electric vehicles could contribute to the needs during peak consumption in winter.

Mr. Batty pointed out that theoretically, one million electric vehicles could provide 7,000 MW of peak power, more than four times the installed capacity of the La Romaine complex [1,550 MW].

He explained that this is an optimistic scenario since all these vehicles would have to be parked and providing [electricity] at the same time and that, for the moment, few models vehicles and terminals offer this functionality.

However, added the spokesperson, electric vehicles clearly have very interesting potential to be able to provide electricity during peak consumption.

According to the Canada Energy Regulator, in 2019, electricity consumption The electricity per capita in Quebec stood at 24 megawatt hours, which places it first in the country for electricity consumption per capita, or 60% above the national average.

Still according to the Régie de l'nergie, even if it is the 39th country in the world in terms of population, Canada has been, in 2020, the fourth largest consumer of electricity per capita.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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