By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the very first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installment will include industry leaders and topics associated with accelerating a fair and simply shift to a renewable resource economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are prospering in the sustainable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations first Black female CEO in the community solar industry. Under her management, WeSolar is growing quickly, supplying consumers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to cost effective solar power, regardless of home type, and helping hard-working families reduce monthly costs.
What inspired you to begin your company?
The plain truth that the majority of households who were getting renewable resource incentives were greater income. I keep in mind discovering this and believing there had to be a method to resolve this gap. I observed there was a problem. I had my own concepts on how to solve it, and I wished to have company over my own choices. I was at a community conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. It felt like a lightbulb had actually turned on for me when I began to describe how crucial and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar motion. I started demonstrating how higher-income communities and people in the residential areas were taking advantage of renewable tax incentives and had received a lots of assistance. The truth is, energy usage impacts Black family spending plans greatly. 36% of Black households experience a high energy concern, indicating they invest over 6% of their earnings on home energy expenses. Thats a massive portion. To be able to provide a product that will save our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Tell us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods economical access to local neighborhood solar and to help industrial properties with energy effectiveness. WeSolar introduced 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 set up any equipment in their houses. In turn, homeowners conserve hundreds on their electrical power bills. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electricity should come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
To a neighborhood that is already facing a lot of pushing obstacles, convincing them that there is another one just as crucial is extremely difficult. I remember trying to explain neighborhood solar to my good friends and the discussion quickly pivoting to housing. The fact of the matter is, institutional racism and injustice are larger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being invested in, we are being asked to prioritize constantly for our survival.
Please show us a current business success story.
A really individual success story for me is cultivating a collaboration with Maryland United Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. I matured in a Baptist church in Brooklyn where my cousin was the pastor, and my mama was an organizer– neighborhood was sewn into my very being. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wished to ensure city residents were getting the same quantity of financial investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing everything cycle. Eco-friendly energy has historically been a middle-class problem since Black neighborhoods have needed to reside in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the individuals I needed to get in touch with in order to make this partnership effective.
For more information about WeSolar, check out wesolar.energy
I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to use a product that will save our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to local community solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy efficiency. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I desired to ensure city homeowners were getting the same amount of investment as the county. Renewable energy has historically been a middle-class problem because Black neighborhoods have 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 effective.