How Supply Chain Chaos Is Upending The Electric Utility Industry

USEA Virtual Press Briefing: How Supply Chain Chaos Is Upending The Electric Utility Industry

The electric utility industry is roiled by supply chain chaos. Across the industry, there are tales of operation and maintenance delays, shortage-induced rescheduling, and crews standing idle, waiting for materials as conventional as bolts.

It is severe and getting worse, according to contractors who can’t fulfill their commitments. For example, the delay in getting a new bucket truck can be as long as three years. Suppliers are rationing needed day-to-day supplies between their best customers. There isn’t just one bottleneck, there are many - and they all have the same two effects: delay and cost frustrations.

The American Public Power Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association have written to Congress and the Biden Administration, drawing attention to the shortage of transformers. The crisis is particularly severe for these and other bulk electric supply goods, many of them sourced in Asia. The Biden Administration has responded by invoking the National Defense Production Act.

This is a crisis that has seized the electric utility sector at a time when it already is grappling with extreme weather early in the summer, portending a need to have plenty of spare parts on hand to tackle the restoration engineering. The crisis also threatens the transition to renewables and the goal of a net-zero planet.

This severe issue and more will be addressed in this briefing, which will consist of a panel of experts taking questions from a panel of knowledgeable journalists. USEA Acting Executive Director Sheila Hollis will give opening remarks. Llewellyn King, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and broadcaster, organized this briefing and will moderate.

The general audience can submit questions using the Zoom Q&A function, but members of the media will be given preference. A recording will be made available after the briefing.

Panelists:
Ray Kowalik, Chairman & CEO, Burns & McDonnell
Joy Ditto, President & CEO, American Public Power Association
Rudy Garza, Interim President & CEO, CPS Energy
Scott Aaronson, Senior VP, Security and Preparedness, Edison Electric Institute

Journalists:
Jennifer Hiller, The Wall Street Journal
Ken Silverstein, Forbes
Robert Walton, Utility Dive
Rod Kuckro, Energy Policy News

Speakers

Sheila Hollis

Acting Executive Director
United States Energy Association

Llewellyn King

Creator, Executive Producer & Host
White House Chronicle

Ray Kowalik

Chairman & CEO
Burns & McDonnell

Joy Ditto

President & CEO
American Public Power Association

Rudy Garza

Interim President & CEO
CPS Energy

Scott Aaronson

Vice President, Security and Preparedness
Edison Electric Institute (EEI)

Jennifer Hiller

Reporter
The Wall Street Journal

Ken Silverstein

Senior Contributor
Forbes

Robert Walton

Reporter
Utility Dive

Rod Kuckro

Reporter
Freelance