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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< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">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 be able to decarbonize its economy with wind power and dams alone, and Quebecers must in particular adopt the use of artificial intelligence and objects. connected in residences.

For example, the minister explained to The Canadian Press that he is counting on Hydro-Québec to eventually offer its customers the use of electric car batteries to provide energy for domestic appliances. /p>

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

So, when we leave the dishwasher at two in the morning, we leave the refill of the car 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 will fuel it.

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

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It's one thing to tell people to run the dishwasher at two in the morning, obviously I made a lot of people laugh when I said that, even though I had reason, but obviously, it takes more than that, indicated the minister, referring to comments he made a few months ago.

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

The connected dishwasher and vehicle 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 even won an award at COP26 in Glasgow.

Brainbox, a Montreal company that does business in several countries, has developed an application that optimizes the energy consumption of large buildings. The application collects a multitude of data linked, for example, to the weather and the occupancy rate of a space. 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, it's 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.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Before Minister Fitzgibbon speaks Thursday at the Forum on the Digitization of the Electricity Industry, the vice-president responsible for energy planning at Hydro-Québec, Dave Rhéaume also spoke to entrepreneurs gathered in a hotel in downtown Montreal.

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

According to him, Hydro-Québec must be ready to spend at least as much money, to help our customers consume less, as it costs to build new production, balance new production and transport and distribute new production. 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 our 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, connected objects and #x27;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 offers financial assistance, such as smart thermostats, connected water heaters, heat pumps or even car charging stations. connected to the electricity network.

These so-called intelligent terminals allow vehicles to be recharged outside peak electricity consumption and therefore help to reduce the pressure on Hydro- Quebec.

But 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 supply at the same time and that, for the moment, few models of vehicles and terminals offer this functionality.

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

According to the Canada Energy Regulator, in 2019, per capita electricity consumption in Quebec increased #x27;is set at 24 megawatt hours, placing it first in the nation in per capita electricity consumption, 60% above the national average.

Also according to the Régie de l'nergie, even though it is the 39th largest country in terms of population, Canada was, in 2020, the fourth largest consumer of energy. #x27;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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