September/October 2021 | Vol. 26 No. 5
by Brian Marchionini, PMP, Senior Program Manager, Connected Systems and Strategic Initiatives, NEMA
The NEMA Strategic Initiatives Program is an idea accelerator and project incubator created to seize emerging market opportunities and solve impending challenges. Participation and the output from the Strategic Initiatives is a benefit of NEMA membership. Visit www.nema.org/si to sign up for one of the existing Strategic Initiatives or the ones approved for 2022:
Work with Members and industry partners to advocate for the holistic benefits of electrical systems in buildings, industrial facilities, transportation systems, and the electrical grid, with a focus on attributes including safety, reliability, resiliency, digitalization, connectedness, and sustainability.
Examine current and future trade trends and detail global risks and opportunities to our industry; increase American influence in international Standards; and improve import enforcement via e-labeling.
Analyze requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation and California Consumer Privacy Act and assess implications for NEMA Members; address artificial intelligence adoption barriers by filling Standards gaps (e.g., testing) and advocating for sound AI regulations and legislation; and develop a platform for machine- readable Standards.
Develop a baseline of existing and future technical, educational, and policy/regulatory gaps with input from staff and Member companies and launch an advocacy campaign targeting State/local agencies.
Established to help NEMA Members address rising insurance rates, the Industry Defense SI Committee has been active this year hosting webinars and roundtables to educate Members on risk transfer mechanisms outside the traditional insurance market. In May, NEMA invited a guest speaker from the American Property Casualty Insurance Association to help Members understand the drivers behind surging premium rates across many lines of coverage. In June, NEMA hosted a roundtable discussion for Members to share their experiences and perspectives, and explore the possibility for insurance captives, risk retention groups, and risk purchasing groups to address risk coverage gaps. Upcoming presentations will focus on helping Members identify existing insurance captives that are appropriate to cover their exposures.
SF6 AND ALTERNATIVES COUNCIL
After four years of advocacy, the NEMA SF6 and Alternatives Council was finally successful in getting a key provision of California’s regulation for Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) Emissions from Gas Insulated Switchgear amended. Regulated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), California-owned utilities have been required since 2010 to track and report emissions from power grid equipment that utilizes the greenhouse gas for insulation and arc-quenching. An oversight in the original regulatory text governing how emissions are calculated sometimes leads to inaccurate emissions figures. As part of a broad overhaul of the regulation, CARB updated the language in response to proposed new text from NEMA. The revised regulation will take effect on January 1, 2022.
MATERIALS MANAGEMENT COUNCIL
The NEMA Materials Management Council (MMC) held its first formal meeting which was highly attended and productive. The MMC discussed the proposed scope of activities and through a follow up survey, identified three priority topics on which to focus initially: “Surveillance,” “Chemicals,” and “Critical Minerals.” Task Groups are being formed to prioritize activities and deliverables for these topics, with additional topics to be addressed later. Kent Crawford, Director of Engineering at Schneider Electric, has volunteered as interim MMC Chair. The MMC is currently seeking nominations for additional leadership positions including a permanent Chair, a Vice-Chair, and Task Group leaders. ei