Newfoundland's Mysa with Hilo

Newfoundland Mysa with Hilo

DAY

Hilo, a subsidiary of Hydro-Québec that offers a turnkey smart home service, has just signed an agreement with the Newfoundland thermostat manufacturer Mysa. The subsidiary thinks big and intends to be a key player in Quebec's decarbonization. 

While local companies are ready and qualified, the Hydro-Québec subsidiary Hilo preferred to partner with a Newfoundland company for its thermostat needs.

“We are already working with several Quebec companies such as Sinopé Technologies, Gestion Stelpro or Elmec. Other partnerships will likely be created in the coming months with Quebec companies,” says Cendrix Bouchard, spokesperson for Hydro-Québec. 

Founded in 2016 by two brothers, Mysa is based in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, and produces smart thermostats for heating and cooling (baseboard heaters, heated floors, air conditioners, mini heat pumps, etc. .). 

“Mysa is a supplier that is already present in Quebec. And their technology fits Hilo's needs. In fact, there are many customers in Quebec who already have Mysa equipment. These will be able to become Hilo customers. » 

“Like a virtual power plant” 

Hilo is a centerpiece of Hydro-Québec's strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. According to its 2022-2026 strategic plan, the Crown corporation says it needs 100 TWh of electricity to achieve this goal, and rely on Hilo to achieve it.

“Hilo’s goal is to manage peak management with Hydro-Québec. And that starts a lot with thermostats or baseboard heaters. Heating accounts for approximately 55% of residential consumption in Quebec. The goal is to offer as many technological possibilities as possible so that Hydro can displace as much consumption as possible”, says Cendrix Bouchard. 

“By 2030, we are aiming for 640 megawatts of energy savings, that's the equivalent of Romaine 2, or 114,000 homes! Hilo should be seen as a virtual powerhouse. Everything moved by Hilo during peak periods is the equivalent of a power plant that we don't need to build,” he adds.  

The company refuses to say how many homes are equipped with the facilities of the Hydro-Quebec subsidiary. But these would be counted “in the thousands”, according to the spokesperson.  

In 2018, the CEO of Hydro-Québec Éric Martel worried about a “spiral of death” for Hydro-Quebec if people increasingly opted for smart homes.

“If people start self-producing with solar, they will consume less. But we have as many transformers, electrical wires to buy. So prices will go up. This will make self-production even more profitable. That's the murderous spiral,” said Éric Martel at the time. 

Still far from the objectives

The theory of the spiral of death still hold today? 

“Evoking the death spiral was perhaps alarmist. The market has evolved, and at the time we had not grasped the challenge of decarbonizing everything. Even today, we are nowhere near the goals we set for ourselves a few years ago,” recalls François Bouffard, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at McGill University.  < /p>

“In Quebec, there are 700 homes that have solar installations as we speak. The portrait is really not the same as in California or Arizona. At the moment here, it is not very significant. The energy transition requires a certain humility, you have to keep up with developments and technology and stay tuned to customers,” concludes Maxence Huard-Lefebvre, spokesperson for Hydro-Québec