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 pleased to share the first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installment will feature market leaders and topics related to speeding up a fair and simply transition to a renewable energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are growing in the renewable resource 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 rapidly, offering customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to affordable solar energy, despite house type, and helping hard-working families lower month-to-month costs.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was at a community conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy concern, indicating they invest over 6% of their income on house energy costs. To be able to offer an item that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to regional 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, electricity consumers can purchase shared solar from a local job without having to install any devices in their houses. In turn, homeowners conserve hundreds on their electrical energy costs. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that mentions 50 percent of its electrical power need to come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is currently dealing with a lot of pressing challenges, persuading them that there is another one just as essential is very tough. I keep in mind trying to discuss community solar to my buddies and the discussion rapidly rotating to housing. The truth of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice are larger than we know, and it drowns our community. Where Black individuals are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please show us a current 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 sewn into my very being. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I desired to guarantee city residents were getting the very same amount of investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing everything full circle. Renewable resource has traditionally been a middle-class issue due to the fact that Black communities have needed to reside in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with individuals I required to connect with in order to make this partnership successful.
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 neighborhood solar movement. To be able to use a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget-friendly access to regional community solar and to assist commercial properties with energy effectiveness. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to ensure city citizens were getting the exact same amount of investment as the county. Sustainable energy has historically been a middle-class issue due to the fact that Black neighborhoods have had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the individuals I required to connect with in order to make this partnership effective.