Non-profit

Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute

Website:

rewi.org/

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

26-1587829

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2021):

Revenue: $3,402,247
Expenses: $3,377,732
Assets: $5,884,881

Type:

Environmental Advocacy Group

Formation:

2008

Executive Director:

Abby Arnold

Budget (2022):

Revenues: $3,610,012

Expenses: $3,467,009

Assets: $5,818,950 1

References

  1. “Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/261587829/202313199349304556/full.

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

The Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute is an environmentalist group which works with the wind and solar energy industry to reduce risks to wildlife from wind and solar projects.

The membership of the group consists of wind and solar companies and left-of-center environmentalist groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. 1

Background

A partnership of wind industry companies and environmentalist groups founded the American Wind Wildlife Institute (AWWI) in 2008. The group aimed to reduce the environmental impacts of wind energy on wildlife. 2

In 2021, the AWWI board to expand its work to include solar and other weather-dependent energy sources. In 2022, AWWI changed its name to the “Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute.” 3

Approaches

Turbine Collision Prevention

Environmentalists and renewable energy companies created the Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute to find solutions to the problem of utility grade wind and solar projects killing wildlife. The first topic it studied was why wind turbines draw birds and bats, which killed them. The group first set up machine-based systems, such as radar and cameras, to detect the species heading towards the wind turbines and then to eventually deter them. 4

The machines explored which sounds or sights may deter the animals from colliding with the wind turbine. The group hoped that certain light displays or sounds scare the animals away from the turbines. 5

One problem the group recognized was that the new technologies were expensive. At the same time, wind companies were being pressured to lower their costs to compete with conventional sources of energy such as natural gas. 6

The group provided the catalyst for engineers, biologists, and operations experts to collaborate. The Department of Energy and its labs support the group’s work. 7

Painting Turbines Black

As of November 2023, the Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute tested the hypothesis of painting a windmill blade black at a large wind farm in Wyoming. A University of Maryland scientist proposed that as birds got closer to the windmill, it would become an invisible blur. But if windmill operators painted one blade black, it would be easier for birds to see and result in fewer bird deaths. Scientists tested this hypothesis in Norway, and reported that it resulted in 70 percent fewer bird deaths among 19 bird species. 8

Advocacy

The Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute are advocates for expanding the use of weather-dependent, intermittent sources of energy such as wind and solar. 9

In July 2022, Erin Greeson wrote for the website about what wildlife would look like without wind and solar. She claimed that wildlife would face mass extinction through climate change and dramatically increasing wind and solar usage was an important part of preventing that. 10

Member Groups

The renewable energy companies and environmentalist groups that make up the Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute are AES, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies, National Audubon Society, Avangrid Renewables, BP Wind Energy, Environmental Defense Fund, EDF Renewables, EDP Renewables, E.ON, General Electric, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, NRG Systems, Pattern Energy, RES Americas, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, and Vestas. 11

Leadership

The executive director of the Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute is Abby Arnold. She is a practicing mediator who worked on numerous disputes involving environmentalists and the weather-dependent energy industry. 12

The group’s chairwoman is Aimee Delach, who represents Defenders of Wildlife. 13

Financials

According to the Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute’s 2022 tax return, the group had $3,610,012 in revenue, $3,467,009 in expenses, and $5,818,950 in assets. 14

The group paid Bat Conservation International, Inc. $321,918 for scientific research. 15

References

  1. “History.” Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://rewi.org/about-us/history/.
  2. “History.” Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://rewi.org/about-us/history/.
  3. “History.” Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://rewi.org/about-us/history/.
  4.  Rogers, John. “Birds, Bats, and Wind Power: An Interview with Abby Arnold of the American Wind Wildlife Institute.” The Equation, December 20, 2018. https://blog.ucsusa.org/john-rogers/wind-power-and-wildlife-interview-with-abby-arnold/.
  5. Rogers, John. “Birds, Bats, and Wind Power: An Interview with Abby Arnold of the American Wind Wildlife Institute.” The Equation, December 20, 2018. https://blog.ucsusa.org/john-rogers/wind-power-and-wildlife-interview-with-abby-arnold/.
  6. Rogers, John. “Birds, Bats, and Wind Power: An Interview with Abby Arnold of the American Wind Wildlife Institute.” The Equation, December 20, 2018. https://blog.ucsusa.org/john-rogers/wind-power-and-wildlife-interview-with-abby-arnold/.
  7. Rogers, John. “Birds, Bats, and Wind Power: An Interview with Abby Arnold of the American Wind Wildlife Institute.” The Equation, December 20, 2018. https://blog.ucsusa.org/john-rogers/wind-power-and-wildlife-interview-with-abby-arnold/.
  8. Zimmer, Katarina. “How Wind Turbines Could Coexist Peacefully with Bats and Birds.” Knowable Magazine , November 8, 2023. https://knowablemagazine.org/content/article/technology/2023/how-wind-turbines-could-coexist-peacefully-bats-and-birds.
  9. Greeson, Erin. “Without Renewables, What Would Our World Look like for Wildlife?” Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute, July 19, 2022. https://rewi.org/2022/07/19/without-renewables-what-would-our-world-look-like-for-wildlife/.
  10. Greeson, Erin. “Without Renewables, What Would Our World Look like for Wildlife?” Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute, July 19, 2022. https://rewi.org/2022/07/19/without-renewables-what-would-our-world-look-like-for-wildlife/.
  11. “History.” Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://rewi.org/about-us/history/.
  12. “Leadership & Staff.” Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://rewi.org/about-us/leadership-staff/.
  13. “Leadership & Staff.” Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://rewi.org/about-us/leadership-staff/.
  14. “Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/261587829/202313199349304556/full.
  15. “Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute, Full Filing – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/261587829/202313199349304556/full.
  See an error? Let us know!

Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2009

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990 $3,402,247 $3,377,732 $5,884,881 $606,710 N $3,215,082 $160,072 $27,093 $273,828
    2020 Dec Form 990 $3,238,456 $2,518,020 $5,903,199 $428,534 N $3,017,188 $189,019 $32,211 $283,381
    2019 Dec Form 990 $3,033,357 $2,509,726 $5,129,563 $218,665 N $2,611,224 $380,760 $40,787 $218,583 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $2,470,476 $2,103,402 $2,996,141 $664,643 N $1,400,789 $1,037,023 $32,476 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $1,314,323 $1,523,394 $2,429,914 $443,641 N $927,701 $356,483 $21,539 $0
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,747,392 $1,655,625 $2,500,118 $300,892 N $1,168,808 $555,413 $23,144 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $1,230,153 $1,321,239 $2,168,407 $110,769 N $1,135,078 $74,098 $20,552 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $1,671,165 $1,350,832 $2,348,841 $182,490 N $1,297,717 $353,982 $19,466 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $1,219,339 $1,167,422 $1,900,730 $44,493 N $1,023,850 $184,682 $10,317 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $1,479,407 $1,170,357 $1,913,351 $99,793 N $1,202,200 $271,671 $4,520 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $1,149,018 $939,953 $1,582,660 $78,152 N $1,129,000 $19,604 $414 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Renewable Energy Wildlife Institute

    700 12th Street NW 700
    Washington, DC