Strategy, Wildfire Leadership Expands at SCE
As Erik Takayesu prepares his commencement speech for the College of Engineering graduating class at California State University, Long Beach, his alma mater, he reflects on a 30-plus-year career at Southern California Edison. And now he will be adding a new title to that lengthy resume: SCE senior vice president, Asset Strategy and Planning.
An engineer by trade, Takayesu has spent years at the utility focusing on grid operations, advanced technology and modernization and system planning. Today, he is the go-to expert for the company’s work around its wildfire mitigation efforts. In this new role, he will focus on the implementation of SCE’s strategy across the utility.
“Wildfires in California are not new, but what we are seeing now are the impacts of climate change. The statewide decarbonization efforts will help reduce the impacts of wildfires,” said Takayesu, who serves on the dean’s advisory council for the College of Engineering at CSU’s Long Beach and Pomona campuses. “In this new role, I will continue to work with the Edison strategy team and Asset Strategy and Planning to help build capabilities as we execute on our reliability, resiliency and clean energy goals.”
Erik Takayesu has been promoted to SCE senior vice president, Asset Strategy and Planning, while Shinjini Menon is the new vice president of Wildfire Safety and Asset Management.
Takayesu recently returned from the BloombergNEF conference in New York where he spoke about the company’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change, such as longer, more intense wildfires while building a grid to support California’s ambitious 2045 clean energy goals.
“We see the impacts of wildfires today and the consequences are significant,” he said. Takayesu, who will move from vice president of Asset Strategy and Planning on May 2, looks forward to the opportunities that will come with his new role. “The work we do has real impact. We are working on issues that help to improve the quality of life of our customers.”
Shinjini Menon will become vice president of Wildfire Safety and Asset Management at SCE on June 6. She is currently the managing director of State Regulatory Operations, with 18 years at the utility leading Transmission & Distribution operational planning and regulatory activities associated with grid resilience and modernization. In her new role, Menon will oversee execution of SCE’s Wildfire Mitigation Plan, PSPS Readiness and the utility’s asset management work to reduce risk and ensure a safe, affordable and reliable operation of its system.
“Protecting our communities from wildfires and reducing the impacts of climate change are key priorities for SCE,” said Steve Powell, SCE president and CEO. “Erik and Shinjini are highly respected leaders who each bring important insight and experience that will help us make a difference for our customers and communities as we implement our Wildfire Mitigation Plan and clean energy vision.”
Protecting our communities from wildfires and reducing the impacts of climate change are key priorities for SCE. Erik and Shinjini are highly respected leaders who each bring important insight and experience that will help us make a difference for our customers and communities as we implement our Wildfire Mitigation Plan and clean energy vision.”Steve Powell, SCE President and CEO
Menon’s home in La Canada Flintridge is considered a high fire risk area, much like one-quarter of SCE’s service area. Over the last two months, SCE crews were in her neighborhood several times stringing covered electrical wire to help reduce the risk of wildfire in her neighborhood.
“I am grateful to our crews who are doing this work,” said Menon, an electrical engineer, who also regularly shares SCE’s wildfire safety efforts with her neighbors. “We have a bigger purpose here. As an electrical utility, we touch 15 million customer lives and our work helps to ensure safety and reliability for the communities we serve.”
Menon also stressed that the utility’s wildfire mitigation efforts help strengthen the grid to ensure reliability and the ability to transition to a clean energy future in alignment with the state’s 2045 decarbonization goals.
“We have a sense of purpose. Our mission as a champion for the environment and how we combat climate change is near and dear to me and my family,” she said.
Wildfire mitigation and safety continue to be a top priority for the company and its 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan outlines an ambitious plan to continue to strengthen and adapt the grid to withstand extreme weather events such as installing more covered conductor.
In addition, SCE continues to build a grid that is adaptive and responsive to the impacts of climate change as it works toward its carbon neutrality goals.