From GridBrief this morning....
Forty-seven Senators from both parties wrote a letter to the Department of Energy cautioning against pursuing its new efficiency standards for transformers.
“Such a standard could come at meaningful cost to grid reliability and national security,” the letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm reads.
Transformers are already in short supply and lead times have increased from eight to twelve weeks to three years between 2020 and 2022.
“We urge the Department to refrain from promulgating a final rule that will exacerbate transformer shortages,” the letter reads. The group wants DOE to “convene stakeholders across the supply chain to develop consensus based approach to setting new standards.”
Sixty members of the House of Representatives have also sent a letter to the DOE asking the agency to withdraw the rule. “There is no statutory requirement for DOE to issue an increase in efficiency standard. Despite this fact, DOE continues to push forward with a rulemaking that will only increase the energy efficiency of distribution transformers by a fraction of a percentage point,” reads the House letter. “The electric power industry is in no position to undertake this level of regulatory overhaul.”
“A senior DOE official said the agency understands the concern and has been working with the power sector for more than a year to address the issue,” reports Utility Dive. “A lack of investment in steel manufacturing, rising demand for transformers and labor shortages are contributing factors, the official said.”