By Roy L Hales The impending retirement of Michael Niggle has prompted a reshuffling at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) personal. Niggle, 63, has been the energy sector for 42 year careers. He contributed to the merger of Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Resources prior to was coming to Sempra Energy in 2000. Niggle and became COO of SDG&E in 2006.
He is depicted giving a speech during the opening ceremony for the Sunrise Powerlink, in one segment of Robert Lundahl’s documentary Who Are My People?
“This is a great day for California, especially San Diego and Imperial counties. Renewable energy is starting to find its way into our state and into our counties,” Niggle says in the film. “That snap, crackle and pop is the sound of success,” Niggli declared at the completion ceremony two years later.
Sempra Energy CEO Debra Reed, who praised SDG&E’s engineering team that day, says, “Our ability to continue to identify and promote strong leaders has been a critical factor in our success, especially in a changing industry. We are announcing several organizational changes to continue to broaden the depth and experience of our leadership team and fill key roles of those who are retiring.”
Jessie J. Knight Jr., 62, who has been Chairman and CEO of SDG&E through-out the Sunrise Powerlink project, will step down as CEO and become Sempra Energy’s executive vice president of external affairs starting Dec. 1.
After San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station permanently shut down, last June, Knight said, “The Sunrise Powerlink is more valuable and helpful to our region and beyond today than when it was originally envisioned. It not only adds another major transmission artery to our local transmission grid, it is bringing a significant amount of imported power to our region during the summer months to compensate for the loss of power from SONGS.”
An article in the UT San Diego credits Niggli and Knight for SDG&E’s quick response to the massive blackout in San Diego and Orange Counties, as well as Baja California, in 2011. “They helped marshal efforts to restore electricity after a maintenance worker’s mistake in Arizona set off a cascading chain of events that led to the blackout.”
On March 1, 2014, Knight also will become chairman of SoCalGas. Knight was President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce for seven years, before joining Sempra Energy in 2006. He became Chairman & CEO of SDG&E in 2010 and will continue to be SDG&E’s Chairman. Jeffrey Martin, 51, currently the President and CEO of Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, will resign from both those position and become CEO of SDG&E on Dec. 1. Steven D. Davis, 57, currently senior vice president of external affairs for Sempra Energy, will become president and chief operating officer of SDG&E.
(Photo at top of page: Completion Ceremony of Sunrise Powerlink – Courtesy East County Magazine)