In this PowerFlex blog series, “Meet the Team,” we’re highlighting the talented and passionate people who lead our departments.Meet our Vice President of Engineering, Lucie Dupas. With many years of experience as an engineer in the solar industry, she manages a team of project engineers and designers. She has led the technical development of PowerFlex's most complex projects, including non-export solar ground-mounted systems on landfills at a large chemical plant in Springfield MA, and the first ground-mounted system in New York City.Prior to joining PowerFlex, Lucie worked at Sollega, a solar racking company, and Bright Power, an NYC-based energy management company. She graduated from INSA Lyon with a Masters Degree in Energy Engineering and has been a NABCEP PV Installation Professional since 2015.In addition to her role at PowerFlex, she is also the President of the Board of GreenHomeNYC, a volunteer-run nonprofit that provides education and networking events for young NYC professionals interested in sustainability.
- How would you define your role as the Vice President of Engineering?I oversee the team that handles all the technical activities at PowerFlex. We are involved throughout the whole project life cycle, from providing prospective clients a customized solar design during the business development phase to conducting performance tests at the end of construction. My role is to ensure that the systems we build are safe, optimized for production and easy to maintain over their 25+ year lifetime.
- How did you first become involved in the solar industry and why?My family was very environmentally-conscious, and I knew that I wanted to have a positive impact on the planet from an early age. I pursued a degree in Energy and Environmental Engineering and had my first experience in the solar industry during an internship at the NYC startup incubator. While there, I had the opportunity to design and build a small wind + solar + storage system for a large industrial facility on Long Island. I knew from then on that I wanted a career in the solar industry.Afterward, I became the VP of Product at Sollega, a rooftop racking startup, where I gained experience working on solar product design and manufacturing. As I continued seeing different aspects of the solar industry, I realized that I wanted to pursue a role involved in project development. I transitioned to a position as a Senior Project Engineer with Bright Power, an energy services provider focused on NYC multifamily buildings. At Bright Power, I collaborated with architects, MEPs, and manufacturers to design custom solar systems for new construction buildings in NYC.
- What drew you to work at PowerFlex?After gaining valuable experience in the NYC solar market, I felt excited to expand my horizons to the Northeast and the rest of the country. At the time I joined PowerFlex, it was still a relatively small company, and I was able to be involved in all aspects of the solar projects: business development, procurement, design, interconnection, etc. I’m a proponent of collaboration across teams and appreciate how PowerFlex gave me a comprehensive perspective of the solar project development process. Ultimately, my ongoing goal is to maximize my impact against climate change. I feel that distributed solar energy generation co-located with loads is one of the most cost-effective and optimized ways to do so. As a national solar provider to the commercial market, PowerFlex enables me to work towards my goal every day.
- What motivates you in your career?In addition to my goal to foster a more sustainable world, I am very passionate about developing a team of curious professionals and growing a company from a start-up to an established nationwide player. I’m a self-declared process improvement nerd and I love a new challenge!
- Do you notice any specific challenges you encounter as a woman in your field?Dealing with external parties who aren’t used to seeing women engineers is always a challenge in the beginning. As a female professional in a predominantly male-dominated field, I’ve found that sometimes it takes more time for everyone to recognize my skills and capabilities. I always tell women on my team to act confidently while staying humble and curious about others’ work.
- What advice do you have for people looking to work in the field of solar engineering?Know yourself! What do you want to do on a daily basis? There are a lot of stakeholders involved (manufacturers, developers, EPCs, subcontractors, policymakers, non-profits, incentive providers, etc.) and identifying what you can bring to the table will help you narrow down the search.
- Random Question: If you had a superpower, what would it be and why?Teleportation, so I could visit the world and spend more time with my family without increasing my carbon footprint!
At PowerFlex, we value integrity, hard work and collaboration. Our teams work together to provide customized, turnkey solar solutions to commercial clients, and we take pride in our impeccable references. If you’re interested in going solar, contact us today.