Developers Workshop a Key Piece to Connecting with Local Builders

Developers Workshop a Key Piece to Connecting with Local Builders
by Jay Stowe

A while back, feeling a bit dissatisfied with how JEA was addressing the needs of the regional development community, Rick Morales, president of Morales Construction Co., was seeking to join the JEA board of directors. He told me his goal was to add the developers’ voice to our efforts to maintain JEA’s foundational role as one of the largest economic drivers in Northeast Florida.

Having now served for two years alongside our other JEA board leaders, who are also fully engaged and committed on regional development issues, Rick can now take credit for the success of our annual Developers Workshop, which recently served as a key opportunity to exchange ideas and further enhance economic development here in Northeast Florida.

He is motivated by a desire to build stronger lines of communication between JEA and the developer community, and to make it easier for them to do business with us.

That’s why, this year, more than 250 representatives of the construction and development community heard from JEA subject matter experts on shared standards, rule changes, supply chain updates and other information that makes it easier to work with us and complete projects quicker. A playlist of the Developers Workshop presentations is found here.

It may sound like a broken record, but it’s worth repeating: demand for distribution transformers continues to outpace supply. We’ve lived through the worst public health crisis since the 1918 flu epidemic and experienced a host of other geopolitical factors that, to this day, continue to result in unprecedented equipment shortages and lengthy wait times that challenge every utility’s ability to serve the needs of new residential and commercial developments.

But through accurate forecasting and improved communication with the developer community, manufacturers and suppliers, we’re continually looking for options for increasing supply and preventing disruptions. To echo Rick’s introductory remarks at the summit, here are a few things we’re working on right now:

  • Temporary overhead installation for new electric service.
  • Partial releases for construction to coordinate closing dates with energization.
  • Electric single meters on specific townhome installations.
  • Construction of up to 100 homes prior to generator installs.
  • Preliminary startup inspections on pump stations with generators.

Communication is key as we move forward. To that end, with Rick’s support, we’ve created a communication strategy and plan to keep the development community and other stakeholders plugged in to JEA initiatives and practices that may impact your developments, including:

  • Our Supply Chain Resource Hub features weekly updates on current development projects and our progress toward electrifying those projects, along with steps JEA is taking to meet local development needs.
  • A developer-targeted quarterly e-newsletter that highlights current supply chain issues and opportunities as well as other development-related news and updates.
  • Weekly project-specific email status updates.
  • Earned media efforts to share thought leadership perspectives with the community at large about meeting current supply chain challenges with innovative solutions. Most recently, the Florida Times-Union published my guest column titled “ More Foresight Needed for Robust First Coast Development and Economic Expansion.”
  • Additional developer meetings and workshop plans for the future.

Again, if you weren’t able to attend the August workshop, check out the Developers Workshop playlist; we look forward to our continued collaboration.

You can also drop an e-mail anytime to any of the JEA staff contacts who support this essential, ongoing dialogue.

Supply Chain Resource Hub

Supply Chain Resource Hub}
JEA is taking a proactive approach to meet ongoing supply chain challenges and taking steps to meet local development needs.

Visit our Supply Chain Resource Hub