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 installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installment will feature industry leaders and topics associated with speeding up a fair and just shift to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the very 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 first Black lady CEO in the neighborhood solar market. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, offering consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to affordable solar power, regardless of house type, and assisting hard-working households minimize month-to-month expenses.
What inspired you to begin your company?
The plain fact that most of households who were receiving renewable resource incentives were greater income. I remember learning this and believing there had to be a way to resolve this gap. I observed there was an issue. I had my own ideas on how to resolve it, and I wished to have company over my own decisions. I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not bought the community solar movement. Once I began to describe how critical and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar motion, it seemed like a lightbulb had actually switched on for me. I started demonstrating how higher-income neighborhoods and individuals in the suburbs were taking benefit of renewable tax incentives and had gotten a heap of assistance. The fact is, energy use effects Black household budget plans significantly. 36% of Black families experience a high energy burden, implying they invest over 6% of their earnings on house energy bills. Thats a huge portion. To be able to offer an item that will conserve our community as much as 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget-friendly access to regional community solar and to assist business homes with energy effectiveness. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electrical energy should come from sustainable energy sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you face? Why?
To a community that is currently facing so many pushing obstacles, persuading them that there is another one just as crucial is really tough. I keep in mind attempting to discuss neighborhood solar to my good friends and the conversation quickly rotating to real estate. The truth of the matter is, institutional racism and oppression are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please share with 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 mother was an organizer– community was stitched into my very being. When I initially relocated to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wished to make sure city citizens were getting the same quantity of 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 actually traditionally been a middle-class concern since Black communities have actually had to live in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the individuals I required to get in touch with in order to make this partnership effective.
To find out more about WeSolar, go to

I was at a community meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. To be able to use a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods inexpensive access to local community solar and to assist business residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to ensure city residents were getting the exact same amount of financial investment as the county. Sustainable energy has traditionally been a middle-class issue due to the fact that 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 collaboration successful.