Duncan Manley '20 Solar Energy
Pictured (above): Duncan on the Greenland Ice Sheet in March, 2019. He took a trip to Greenland through the ''Environmental Science of the Arctic'' class during his semester abroad in Copenhagen.
What are you doing now?
I work for a solar company in the Commercial & Industrial sector. We build and sell turnkey solar arrays to businesses looking to decrease their carbon footprint and save money on energy in the long term. I find it really exciting to work in a young industry with lots of opportunity for growth, all while making a positive climate impact.
What type of projects do you work on?
Most of my work today revolves around managing portfolios of solar projects for Safari's clients. We work with companies that have significant real estate holdings that are well-primed for solar, i.e., large buildings with flat roofs in sunny areas. I work very closely with a couple of national self-storage companies, each of which has purchased ~30 solar systems from Safari in an effort to offset their carbon emissions. I work closely with our contractors, construction team, engineering department, and salespeople to ensure we build these systems to match the client's specifications and run as smoothly as possible.
My favorite part about studying geoscience was learning the "big picture" stuff-- I enjoyed learning about the Earth as a complex system and thinking about the large-scale processes that formed the landscape and climate we know today. Those learning experiences and knowledge gave me a reverence for our planet and a desire to work in sustainability after graduation.
What do you like to do in your free time? What's your favorite hike in Rockbridge?
Lately I have been spending my time trying to find creative ways to get outside in NYC. It's no Rockbridge county, but there are interesting parks to check out and lots of great places to run. During my time at W&L, my favorite hike was McAfee's Knob. It's outside of Rockbridge county but totally worth checking out. If you can pull off the overnight camping trip or a very early morning, the sunrise is spectacular!