Ryter Cooperative Industries (RCI) is a Detroit-based renewable energy engineering project management, development, and deployment firm that has been innovating community solar plus battery storage clean energy since 2015. RCI’s mission is to accelerate the adoption of solar-powered energy systems worldwide with a focus on energy resilience in underserved communities. Ali Dirul, Founder & CEO Having more than 15 years of power system design engineering experience, Ali Dirul is considered a clean energy visionary, innovator, and local Detroit leader, showing a demonstrated commitment to the advancement of sustainability in communities through the implementation of projects that positively impact them. With a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics from the University of Detroit-Mercy and a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Alternative Energy Systems from Oakland University, Ali has raised RCI to become a leader in community clean energy innovation, specializing in Battery Energy Storage Systems (ESS) and distributed solar solutions. This leadership has been awarded such recognition as The Green America People and Planet Award for Clean Energy 2017, Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council – Business of the Year 2022 and a Special Tribute from the State Governer of Michigan for our work positively impacting the lives of Michiganders through solar and clean energy education. Inspiration to Start Company The inspiration for starting Ryter Cooperative Industries has been with me since I was 16 years old. My mother, who was struggling to pay our utility bills, sat me down and said, “Ali, you know I don’t have the money to put you through college, so if you want to go, you’ll have to work hard, study and get yourself a scholarship.” I listened, took her advice, and worked to graduate top of my class. But I couldn’t help but think of how many others in my situation weren’t as fortunate. This sparked a desire in me to create opportunities for people facing similar challenges. Later on, during my final capstone project in Grad School, I designed a net-zero energy home for my professor. This experience made me realize the importance of energy efficiency and sustainable solutions in the housing industry, particularly in communities facing housing and energy inequities. I wanted to expand this model and bring it to more urban communities, and that’s when I founded RCI. Our mission is to provide affordable and sustainable housing solutions while creating job opportunities for people facing financial difficulties.