Supply Chain Resource Hub

 
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Weekly Development Reports


JEA posts updated development reports to this page each Monday. 


As one of the largest economic engines in Northeast Florida, JEA is aware of how national and global issues can deeply impact our community and those who call it home. Equipment shortages and lengthy wait times for utility supplies driven by supply chain challenges have impacted the ability of utilities like JEA to serve the needs of new residential and commercial developments that drive economic growth.

JEA is taking a proactive approach to meet these ongoing challenges. Our leaders are meeting regularly with the development community to understand and anticipate their short- and long-term needs. We are also talking to manufacturers and suppliers and working internally to find creative solutions to boost inventory levels and address disruptions.

The supply chain crisis impacting availability of transformers and related components is not just a Jacksonville issue but a national one. JEA supports the request for a White House summit to bring together stakeholders who will work toward solutions to this issue impacting our community’s growth and economic development. Jay Stowe
JEA Managing Director and CEO

Because this issue is impacting power utilities throughout the country, JEA also is engaged at a national level. Managing Director and CEO Jay Stowe serves as co-chair of an Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council Supply Chain team, an effort by the federal government and electric power sector to understand and mitigate widespread electric grid supply chain shortages.

We are taking additional steps with our allied utility companies to advocate at the federal level on behalf of our community developer partners to ensure that any necessary or available government intervention remains a high priority for the Administration and Congress.

What Steps is JEA Taking to Meet Local Development Needs?

Increasing inventory levels and ordering more material due to longer lead times
Sourcing transformer needs from overseas manufacturers
Refurbishing transformers in-house and working with manufacturers to secure parts needed to complete a transformer build
Redeploying under-utilized transformers (known as harvesting)
Temporarily installing overhead transformers in place of pad-mount in underground utility applications
Building a project/materials model to predict material needs and identify timing of shortfalls
Collaborating with other power utilities for potential sharing capabilities and on federal advocacy for additional government interventions
Exploring alternative steel materials and product designs with manufacturers to expedite orders and avoid impacts from delayed deliveries of silicone core steel from domestic and international sources


Questions & Answers

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Closed Title:How did this supply chain issue begin, and what will it take to end it?
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The supply chain disruptions started in 2020, following the start of the COVID pandemic. Among the factors: shipping backlogs, numerous factory closures, labor issues and equipment shortages. 

Supply chain issues with transformers, in part, stems from transformers’ need for grain-oriented electrical steel, a soft material made of iron and silicon with special magnetic properties that helps prevent energy loss. That material, like other steel-based products, has been in short supply for more than a year. Only one U.S. company produces it, and overseas companies face shipping challenges and increased worldwide demand. 

The steel industry more broadly has been disrupted in recent years, after the U.S. Government imposed tariffs on steel imports in 2018. While some tariffs for European and Japanese products have been eased since then, taxes on imports from China still remain.

A number of manufacturers also have indicated they struggle to find enough workers. (Route-Fifty.com)

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Closed Title:What is JEA doing on the state and national level to advocate for supply chain reforms?
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JEA leadership is engaging with statewide and national trade associations addressing these issues, such as Florida Municipal Electric Association and the American Public Power Association. On the national level, Jay Stowe is serving as co-chair of an Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council Supply Chain team, an effort by the federal government and electric power sector to understand and mitigate widespread electric grid supply chain shortages. 

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Closed Title:Are other utilities in Northeast Florida facing similar challenges to JEA?
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Yes, these supply chain challenges are impacting utilities throughout Florida and the United States. 

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Closed Title:I’ve heard about challenges getting materials off container ships from overseas during the pandemic. Is this a manufacturing issue, a transportation/logistics issue, or both?
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Both. Due to the pandemic, many factories in Asia, for example, suspended operations, which disrupted the global supplies of goods from apparel to cars to electronics. It’s also taking longer to unload containers from ships, which further resulted in disruption along the supply chain as COVID-19 forced workers into isolation. Pre-pandemic, it was normal for ships to sail back to Asia from North America nearly full of empty containers for reuse. (South China Morning Post

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Closed Title:What will it take to end the supply chain crisis regarding transformers and related materials?
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One answer may involve a greater investment in the use of remanufactured transformers. With new factory transformer lead time out 80+ weeks, in-stock remanufactured transformers can be made available in as little as one to three weeks. Against the inflated cost of new factory-built units, remanufactured transformers offer a cost reduction between 10 percent and 40 percent. Purchasing a unit with a proven track record in the field provides an additional level of assurance for future reliability. In that same vein, the remanufacturing process includes identifying any previous design flaws and correcting and improving any defects for a longer service life. (Transformer-Technology.com

JEA also supports the invocation of Title III of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to spur private-industry support for manufacturing of these supplies as essential domestic industrial resources. Read CEO Jay Stowe’s letter to APPA CEO Joy Ditto

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Supply Chain in the News

1/11/2023: Jacksonville Business Journal – JEA Expects Supply Chain Issues Throughout 2023. Here's Its Plan.

12/19/2022: Utility Dive – Utilities Sound Alarm Over Distribution Transformer Shortage as Procurement Times Surpass 1 Year and Costs Triple

10/24/2022: The Hill – America's Electric Utilities Facing Transformer Shortage Crisis

10/18/2022: NAHB Urges White House to Act on Transformer Shortages

10/14/2022: American Public Power Association – We Must Keep Expressing Urgency About the Transformer Crisis

7/13/2022: Action News Jax – Transformer Shortage Stifling Local Development

2/22/2022: Jacksonville Business Journal – JEA Grapples with Impacts of Volatility in Eastern Europe, Supply Chain


Supply Chain Partners

American Public Power Association

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Supply Chain Resource Hub

Supply Chain Resource Hub}
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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