Department of Energy Organization Act; Public Law 95-91; 91 Stat. 565; August 4, 1977
NREL began operating as the Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) on July 5, 1977. It was designated as a national laboratory and renamed on September 16, 1991.
"NREL develops renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies and practices, advances related science and engineering, and transfers knowledge and innovations to address the nation's energy and environmental goals."