ENMAX Power is implementing transformer supply alternatives to mitigate impacts to the development industry in Calgary.
A delay in lot development during the COVID-19 pandemic followed by a quick rebound and an unprecedented increase in development in late 2021/2022 led to supply issues of the pad-mounted transformers used in Underground Residential Development (URD).
Due to global supply chain challenges, transformer manufacturers have been unable to source critical materials and skilled labour. This has resulted in delayed and deferred deliveries to ENMAX Power. As of November 2022, lead times for URD transformers range from 40 to 100 weeks.
“ENMAX Power is committed to working with industry on these issues,” said Joe Beetge, manager in project delivery. “We are working to reduce, defer and avoid impacts to our customers.”
Based on current transformer supply and demand, a stock-out scenario – the point at which demand outpaces inventory and new supply – will occur if mitigations are not implemented.
An allocation strategy has been initiated to avoid a stock-out situation. Transformer installations will be directed to locations where permanent energized services are required near term.
“We will continue to collaborate with developers to prioritize and allocate available transformers,” said Beetge. “This strategy will allow partial energization of more developments.”
Additional transformer installations beyond the allocated supply can also be installed based on permanent meter requests. If a pad-mounted transformer is not available, ENMAX Power will consult with the developer on the option for a pole-mounted overhead transformer.
These approaches ensure the most effective use of transformers as they will be directed only where required immediately. All developer projects currently in the design or construction queue will have civil work complete and partial energization, with the potential to target additional lot servicing based on meter requests.
Based on current conditions, ENMAX Power does not foresee a scenario where pole-mounted overhead transformers would be required until the middle of 2023 and we’ll continue to monitor the need for this mitigation strategy as the supply/demand dynamics evolve.
“ENMAX Power will not implement any mitigating options that could result in the overloading of transformers due to safety and reliability concerns, risk of asset damage, and physical and electrical constraints,” said Beetge.
Based on the current information provided by developers and suppliers, our modelling anticipates these challenges to be resolved by the end of 2023.
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