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Learn about the REI – the non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about renewable energy

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Who is the Renewable Energy Institute?

The Renewable Energy Institute is changing the way the world makes and uses energy by leading the renewable energy revolution with renewable energy technologies since 1997.  We not only educate about renewable energy, but we also help provide insight on new projects.

  We are also the largest holder of quality and original renewable energy domain names.  The REI is here to connect people with technologies that will benefit our world and life.

Our History

The founder of the Renewable Energy Institute (REI) – Monty Goodell – was first involved in Net Zero Energy buildings and Solar Trigeneration energy system in 2001 – 2002. This started with family-owned real estate developments in Northern and Southern California. This interest was accelerated when REI’s founder was introduced to the President of a solar company in Los Angeles and their client, the Audubon Nature Center at Deb’s Park in Los Angeles that was planning to build a new 5,000 square foot office and conference center. Except, the new building for the Audubon Nature Center was about 1/2 mile from the end of the power lines and a very costly extension of the power lines to their new facility forced the Audubon Society to consider a solar solution.

The Audubon Nature Center’s new 5,000 sq ft office and conference center was completed
in 2003 and featured what we believe to be the 1st “Solar Trigeneration” energy system. Audubon Nature Center at Debs Park received the 1st LEED Platinum Award by the USGBC.

To this day, powerlines are still 1/2 mile away and OVER 100% of the power and energy needed for the Audubon Nature Center’s building is supplied by the Solar Trigeneration energy system. The Audubon’s facility also includes a Battery Energy Storage system for back-up power generated by the Rooftop PV panels as well as a Thermal Energy Storage
system that stores the excess hot water generated by the evacuated tube collectors.

These early projects led to more client inquiries and engagements with real estate developers, architects and building owners in Southern California, Louisiana and Texas and the advent of a growing Net Zero Energy industry along with Solar Cogeneration & Solar Trigeneration energy systems. This culminated in a family-owned 200 (Net Zero Energy) home real estate development in Desert Hot Springs which has been approved but not yet constructed.

During this time, the REI’s Founder and Executive Director became a volunteer and Advisor to the University of Texas’ (UT) Solar Decathlon Competition. He coordinated the donation of the same solar thermal system used at the Audubon Nature Center’s facility in Los Angeles, for UT’s entry in the 2002 Solar Decathlon Competition in Washington, D.C. UT’s entry in the Solar Decathlon Competition placed 1st in the domestic hot water competition that year (2002) and 4th overall, out of 20 universities that had entered this Solar Decathlon Competition.

In 2006, after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, the REI was formed and several of the REI’s board members and a Professor from the University of Texas School of Architecture formed a design team to enter the Brad Pitt/Global Green Rebuild New Orleans Competition. Our entry also focused on sustainable building solutions and materials as well as the Net Zero Energy concepts, incorporating once again, a “Solar Trigeneration” energy system.

The REI’s “Flagship” was based in Austin, Texas. Austin is the 1st city to adopt the “Net Zero Energy” mandate (also referred to as “Zero Energy Capable”) for new home construction which started on January 1, 2015.

The REI sanctioned the Renewable Energy Institute for the State of Florida in 2009. There have been discussions to open REI state chapters in several additional states as each state has its’ own unique Renewable Energy Resources and the REI has worked with and collaborated with many universities and professors around the world. The REI’s Board Members believe a more efficient method of advocating for renewable energy and renewable energy technologies is to be state-focused and led by its’ own REI state non-profit company.

The REI supports greater use of Net Zero Energy systems by architects, builders, homeowners and owners of commercial buildings. This includes “upgrading” existing homes and commercial / industrial buildings to Net Zero Energy via Net Zero Retrofits.

The REI advocates and supports greater use of renewable energy and renewable energy technologies, with a special interest in resolving the “Energy Water Nexus,” “Emissions Abatement” and “Sustainable Building Solutions through advertising, conferences, e-commerce, education, marketing, policy-makers, public relations, and strategic relationships with / through: architects, builders, cities, colleges, inventors, investors, Net Zero Energy developers, patent-holders, real estate developers and universities.

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