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 very first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installment will feature industry leaders and topics connected to speeding up an equitable and just shift to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are prospering in the sustainable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys first Black female CEO in the community solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing rapidly, offering customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to affordable solar power, no matter home type, and assisting hard-working households minimize monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to begin your company?
The plain fact that the bulk of families who were receiving renewable resource incentives were higher earnings. I keep in mind discovering this and thinking there had to be a method to resolve this gap. I discovered there was an issue. I had my own ideas on how to fix it, and I wished to have agency 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 turned on for me when I started to discuss how vital and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar movement. I began demonstrating how higher-income communities and people in the residential areas were taking benefit of sustainable tax incentives and had received a lots of assistance. The reality is, energy use effects Black family budgets significantly. 36% of Black households experience a high energy problem, implying they invest over 6% of their earnings on home energy costs. Thats an enormous portion. To be able to provide an item that will conserve our neighborhood approximately 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Inform us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to local neighborhood solar and to help business properties with energy performance. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electricity need to come from eco-friendly energy sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you face? Why?
To a community that is already facing a lot of pressing challenges, encouraging them that there is another one simply as important is extremely difficult. I keep in mind attempting to describe neighborhood solar to my pals and the discussion rapidly pivoting to housing. The truth of the matter is, institutional bigotry and oppression are larger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black individuals are not being bought, we are being asked to focus on continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a current business success story.
When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to guarantee city citizens were receiving the same quantity of investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has historically been a middle-class issue since 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 people I required to connect with in order to make this partnership effective.
To find out more about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy
I was at a community meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to provide a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities budget-friendly access to regional community solar and to help commercial properties with energy effectiveness. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to ensure city homeowners were receiving the exact same quantity of investment as the county. Renewable energy has historically been a middle-class concern because Black neighborhoods have had to live in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the individuals I required to link with in order to make this partnership effective.