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 delighted to share the first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installation will feature market leaders and topics related to speeding up an equitable and just transition 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 flourishing in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys very first Black lady CEO in the community solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing rapidly, offering consumers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget friendly solar energy, no matter house type, and helping hard-working households lower regular monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to begin your business?
The stark reality that most of households who were getting renewable energy rewards were higher earnings. I keep in mind discovering this and believing there had to be a method to resolve this gap. I discovered there was a problem. I had my own ideas on how to resolve it, and I wanted to have agency over my own decisions. I was at a community meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not bought the community solar motion. It felt like a lightbulb had turned on for me once I started to describe how vital and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar motion. I started demonstrating how higher-income neighborhoods and people in the residential areas were benefiting from sustainable tax incentives and had received a ton of assistance. The reality is, energy use impacts Black home budgets considerably. 36% of Black households experience a high energy problem, meaning they invest over 6% of their earnings on house energy expenses. Thats an enormous percentage. To be able to provide a product that will conserve our community approximately 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to local neighborhood solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy efficiency. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical power consumers can purchase shared solar from a local job without needing to set up any devices in their homes. In turn, locals save hundreds on their electrical power costs. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that mentions 50 percent of its electrical power need to originate from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently facing so many pressing obstacles, convincing them that there is another one simply as essential is very tough. I keep in mind trying to discuss neighborhood solar to my buddies and the conversation rapidly pivoting to real estate.
Please share with us a recent business success story.
An extremely 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 mama was an organizer– neighborhood was stitched into my extremely being. When I first transferred to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to guarantee city locals were getting the exact same amount of investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing whatever cycle. Eco-friendly energy has actually historically been a middle-class concern due to the fact that Black communities have actually needed to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with individuals I required to get in touch with in order to make this collaboration successful.
To get more information about WeSolar, check out

I was at a community meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. To be able to offer an item that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods cost effective 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 released, and I desired to ensure city residents were getting the very same amount of investment as the county. Renewable energy has traditionally been a middle-class problem since Black communities 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 link with in order to make this partnership successful.