REACH was originally formed as the Renewable Energy Academic Collaboration Hub, housed at the Robert W. Galvin Center for Electricity Innovation. The Galvin Center is a not-for-profit, $50+ million U.S. Department of Energy grant funded center within the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), an academic institution of higher learning located in Chicago, Illinois. The Galvin Center focuses on technology research and education and is powered by a 12MW Smart Microgrid, powering the entire IIT university campus. The IIT Smart Microgrid, can be completely islanded from the grid-supplied power provided by ComEd, the local utility and provides back-up power to the ComEd main utility power grid in times of need, like a storm or other necessary periods of power demand shortage. The center is a major university initiative to improve the reliability, security, efficiency, and sustainability of the nation’s electrical grid and overcome obstacles to the effective adoption and implementation of the Smart Grid.
Since its inception, REACH has expanded its vision to include international renewable energy project development, energy efficiency, technology innovation, integration, and commercialization, economic development, and workforce education and training, and subsequently became Renewable Energy Applications to Conserve Humanity (REACH). With its broadened scope, REACH now operates as a for-profit entity, and establishes corporate status for each unique project, based on local regulatory considerations.