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 movement. To be able to use a product that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities budget friendly access to local neighborhood solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to make sure city residents were getting the same amount of investment as the county. Sustainable energy has traditionally been a middle-class concern since Black communities have had to live in survival mode, however 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 effective.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will include market leaders and subjects related to accelerating an equitable and simply transition to a sustainable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are flourishing in the renewable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black woman CEO in the neighborhood solar market. Under her management, WeSolar is growing rapidly, offering customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget friendly solar power, regardless of house type, and helping hard-working families minimize month-to-month expenses.
What inspired you to start your company?
The plain fact that the bulk of families who were receiving sustainable energy rewards were higher earnings. I remember discovering this and believing there needed to be a method to address this gap. I observed there was a problem. I had my own ideas on how to fix it, and I desired to have agency over my own decisions. I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. It felt like a lightbulb had turned on for me when I began to describe how important and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar movement. I started demonstrating how higher-income communities and individuals in the residential areas were making the most of sustainable tax incentives and had actually gotten a lots of support. The reality is, energy usage effects Black family budgets considerably. 36% of Black families experience a high energy problem, implying they invest over 6% of their income on house energy bills. Thats a huge percentage. To be able to provide an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Inform us about your company?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities economical access to local neighborhood solar and to assist business 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 regional job without needing to set up any equipment in their houses. In turn, homeowners conserve hundreds on their electrical energy costs. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electricity must come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is currently facing numerous pushing difficulties, encouraging them that there is another one just as crucial is extremely tough. I remember trying to describe community solar to my good friends and the conversation quickly pivoting to housing. The reality of the matter is, institutional racism and injustice are larger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black individuals are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a current company success story.
An extremely personal 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 mother was an organizer– community was sewn into my extremely being. When I initially relocated to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I desired to make sure city locals were receiving 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 cycle. Renewable resource has actually traditionally been a middle-class concern due to the fact that Black communities have actually had to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with individuals I needed to get in touch with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To find out more about WeSolar, go to wesolar.energy
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