Interra Energy: Past, Present, and Future
The business model was first conceived in October of 2007, when Thomas R. Del Monte was in his second year of law school and performing research with University of San Diego (USD) School of Law’s Energy Policy Initiative Center (EPIC). Thomas researched California energy law and policy as applied to manure management practices using anaerobic digesters to capture methane to create electricity. During his research, he stumbled upon an internet article about the ONLY carbon negative method of producing energy. In his third year of law school, Thomas began a FlexEvening MBA at the University of California San Diego, Rady School of Management. While continuing to sharpen the relevant legal skills as he prepared for law school graduation, Thomas began applying his business school education to conceive of and refine Interra’s business model.
After finishing law school and passing the California Bar exam,Thomas attended the North American Biochar Conference where he gained several contacts in equipment manufacturing, soil sample testing, and potential California partners. Most importantly, the conference provied the opportunity to determine the current state of development of necessary technologies.
In Q4 of 2010, Interra Energy enlisted Joshua Stone to create the brand’s identity, including logo, website, and business cards. Further, Josh took on the initial role of marketing and pushing the message through various channels in a grassroots approach to getting the word out there and instilling excitement about the company and the Interra mission.
In September of 2010, Danny Goodrich began working for Interra as a legal intern through USD School of Law’s Corporate Counsel Internship Program. Through the program he developed the project’s initial permitting plan and set the basis for the corporate structure of Interra Energy, Inc. He later transitioned into a full-time legal clerk and handled the financial and accounting matters of the company.
In February of 2011, Eren Yar was brought on as the second co-founder of Interra Energy. Thomas met Eren through a mutual friend and upon their first meeting, Eren saw the immense potential Interra had to change the world towards being more sustainable. The goals, philosophy and opportunity Thomas presented aligned with what Eren had been looking for in a company. Eren immediately put together a preliminary design to use in showing investors and competition judges. Since then Eren has redesigned the entire Reciprocating Reactor to scale, adding elements of efficiency, and secured the necessary suppliers and fabricators that are being used to build the first unit. Today he continues to consult with Interra.
In August 2011, Kenny Key applied and was accepted as a full-time legal intern from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, OR. His background in Energy and Environmental Law made him an ideal addition to the team. He accepted a full-time position in August 2012 after completing law school and taking the California bar exam.
Thomas and Kenny have formed the initial Board of Directors of Interra Energy, Inc. and are ushering the original concept into reality. Thomas remains a leader in the biochar industry and presented at the 2012 Biochar Conference in Sonoma, CA.
In May 2012, Interra launched its first line of biochar enriched soil products. The Interra Preta line currently features both a biochar enriched soil amendment and a biochar enriched potting soil. Carbon negative gardening is now available.
Interra has made incredible strides towards completion of the initial facility. Key to this effort was securing a grant from the California Energy Commission in early 2013. Construction and testing on the first commercial unit has begun in National City.
Within the next year Interra plans to finalize the first commercially sized demonstration unit and launch commercial operations. Stay tuned – great things are coming!
The Company has been and will continue to recruit top talent to join in the launch of the business. The Company is committed to hiring the absolute best in the industry and only the brightest young professionals and recent graduates. Interra believes in training to continue our efforts to create a company culture where learning and innovating go hand-in-hand. To apply click here.