Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.

I was at a community meeting with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. To be able to offer a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods affordable access to regional neighborhood solar and to help business properties with energy efficiency. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I desired to guarantee city locals were receiving the exact same amount of investment as the county. Renewable energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue because Black communities have had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the people I needed to connect with in order to make this collaboration effective.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installment will feature industry leaders and topics associated with speeding up a fair and just shift to a sustainable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are prospering in the renewable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys very first Black female CEO in the community solar market. Under her management, WeSolar is growing quickly, offering consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to inexpensive solar power, regardless of home type, and assisting hard-working families minimize monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to start your company?
I was at a community meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy burden, indicating they invest over 6% of their income on home energy expenses. To be able to use a product that will save our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Inform us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods economical access to regional neighborhood solar and to assist commercial homes with energy efficiency. WeSolar released in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electricity consumers can buy shared solar from a local task without needing to install any devices in their houses. In turn, residents save hundreds on their electrical energy expenses. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electricity should come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is already facing numerous pushing obstacles, encouraging them that there is another one just as essential is extremely challenging. I remember trying to explain community solar to my good friends and the conversation rapidly rotating to housing. The fact of the matter is, institutional racism and oppression are larger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize constantly for our survival.
Please share with us a recent company success story.
When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I desired to ensure city citizens were receiving the exact same amount of financial investment as the county. Sustainable energy has actually historically been a middle-class issue because Black communities have actually had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the people I needed to link with in order to make this partnership successful.
To learn more about WeSolar, go to wesolar.energy
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