Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will include industry leaders and topics associated with speeding up an equitable and just transition to a sustainable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are flourishing in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black lady CEO in the community solar industry. Under her management, WeSolar is growing quickly, supplying consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to economical solar energy, regardless of house type, and helping hard-working families decrease monthly expenses.
What inspired you to start your company?
I was at a community conference with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. 36% of Black families experience a high energy burden, suggesting they invest over 6% of their earnings on house energy expenses. To be able to offer a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Inform us about your company?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities inexpensive access to regional community solar and to assist business residential or commercial properties with energy efficiency. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical energy consumers can purchase shared solar from a local task without having to set up any equipment in their homes. In turn, residents save hundreds on their electrical energy expenses. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electricity need to originate from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you face? Why?
To a community that is currently facing so lots of pressing difficulties, encouraging them that there is another one just as essential is really difficult. I keep in mind attempting to explain community solar to my good friends and the discussion rapidly pivoting to housing. The fact of the matter is, institutional racism and oppression are larger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being purchased, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a current business success story.
A very individual success story for me is cultivating a partnership with Maryland United Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. I grew up in a Baptist church in Brooklyn where my cousin was the pastor, and my mommy was an organizer– community was stitched into my extremely being. When I first transferred to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wished to guarantee city locals were getting the exact same quantity of investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing everything complete circle. Eco-friendly energy has historically been a middle-class problem since Black neighborhoods have actually had to reside in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the people I needed to get in touch with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To find out more about WeSolar, go to wesolar.energy
I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. To be able to provide an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities budget-friendly access to local neighborhood solar and to assist business homes with energy efficiency. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I desired to ensure city citizens were getting the same amount of financial investment as the county. Renewable energy has traditionally been a middle-class problem because Black neighborhoods have actually had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the individuals I needed to connect with in order to make this collaboration successful.