This TDW article about distribution transformer lead times doesn’t offer much tangible help, but it explains the international challenges.
Here’s an idea… what about big utilities with big program needs selling older, refurbished transformers to smaller utilities (like coops) for their allotment or pre-order of new transformers. In some cases, the distribution system does NOT need to last for 40 years. A discounted, but fully functional used transformer might be attractive for intermittent electric loads that may only have a possible life of a few years. This might include hydroponic farms, small churches or strip malls, oil field pumps, public EV chargers, etc. The point would be that not every new load will be there for 30-40 years.
This has been done with steel poles….why not distribution transformers?
What ideas do you have?