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Spring MassCEC Intern Joins Zapotec Team
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Spring MassCEC Intern Joins Zapotec Team image

Duncan Howes joins the Zapotec team this season as our newest MassCEC Clean Energy Intern. In 2015, Duncan received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University, and is now working towards his M.S. in Energy Systems Engineering at Northeastern University.

After completing his bachelor’s degree, Duncan spent a summer interning at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station near Phoenix, Arizona. He was able to work closely with his mentor in the thermal performance group, as well as the other mechanical and electrical engineering interns. Interning at a nuclear plant helped Duncan realize how safe and efficient large-scale energy production can be at a well-managed facility.

At Zapotec Energy, Duncan shifts gears from nuclear power to solar energy. Duncan is looking forward to assisting our solar design engineers in the completion of several projects.  He is especially eager to learn more about the different stages of a commercial-scale solar energy project, including everything from the solar PV design process to testing and commissioning. Duncan is now practicing with design software in the office and getting hands-on experience out in the field.

Since his undergraduate years, Duncan knew he wanted to pursue a career that would allow him to be a part of the clean energy transition. “I wholeheartedly believe that our energy dependence is one of the largest problems our generation will face,” says Duncan. “I hope to see countries turn the corner and really begin to support our worldwide energy needs with renewable technologies and practices that no longer harm our planet.”

Beyond solar energy, Duncan is also interested in learning more about the wind energy industry and the potential of offshore wind in New England. Although power generation from offshore wind farms has increased in other parts of the world, these projects have not been as popular in the United States. Recent excitement, however, over the completion of Deepwater Wind’s 30 MW offshore wind farm off Block Island, RI may have sparked a positive trend in the Northeast. Since he grew up in Cape Cod, MA, Duncan knows firsthand just how great the conditions are for wind energy and hopes to see more turbines spinning offshore in the near future.


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