ESS Inc., a leading manufacturer of safe, low-cost and long-duration energy storage systems, announced that it has appointed energy executive Michael R. Niggli, an ESS Inc. Board member since 2016, to the position of Chairman. The company also hired Tim Neville as Vice President of Operations.
Mr. Niggli brings to the Chairman’s role more than 40 years of senior executive experience in the energy industry. He began his career at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) in 1971, where he held many positions within the utility’s electricity and gas operations, fuels acquisition, project management and customer service operations. Mr. Niggli also held positions as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board of Nevada Power Company and Sierra Pacific Resources; President of Sempra Generation; and Senior Vice President of Entergy Corporation. He retired as the President and Chief Operating Officer of SDG&E. He has long advocated for the deployment of energy storage – especially long-duration resources – to support modern grid operations.
“I am pleased to assume the responsibilities of Board Chairman, helping to lead our team at ESS Inc. in bringing our long-duration iron flow energy storage systems to the marketplace,” said Mr. Niggli. “With the drive toward carbon-free electricity in many states and countries around the globe, and the needs of commercial, industrial and utility customers to improve resiliency and reduce their costs, we are well positioned in these transformative times. The primary characteristics of our products – low cost, no hazardous materials or fire risk, unlimited cycling, zero capacity fade and instantaneous response – make us a perfect partner for 3+ hour energy storage needs. This capability enables our customers to use long-duration storage to optimize solar applications, reduce demand, conduct energy trading and arbitrage, replace peaker plants, improve grid resiliency, and capture ancillary services benefits.”
Tim Neville, the company’s new Vice President of Operations, comes to ESS Inc. after more than 25 years in industrial/manufacturing engineering and operations management. His most recent role was Director of Operations and Engineering with Valmont Industries, a nearly $3 billion global organization that designs and manufactures engineered products that support infrastructure development and agricultural productivity. Prior to Valmont, Mr. Neville held several senior operations leadership and plant management positions with Sherwin Williams/Purdy.
“Mike and Tim are proven leaders in their respective fields who will provide invaluable guidance as we develop our utility relationships and scale up manufacturing to address the growing demand for our long-duration flow battery solutions,” said Craig Evans, founder and CEO of ESS Inc. “The storage market is moving rapidly, revealing growth opportunities in the utility-scale segment of the market. As a result, our sales pipeline is expanding to include these larger project opportunities – where the lowest-cost battery technology that offers the highest economic value will be increasingly attractive. With these two appointments, we’re well prepared for highly efficient, quality-focused production and to accelerate utility-scale deployments around the world.”
ESS Inc. also announced the departure of David Lazovsky, who had been Chairman since February 2017. “We’re grateful for David’s service and leadership during his tenure, which included significant achievements in all areas of the business, as well as a $13 million Series B capital raise in December 2017,” said Craig Evans.