Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.

I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. To be able to use an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods affordable access to regional community solar and to help commercial residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to guarantee city homeowners were receiving the very same amount of financial investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has traditionally been a middle-class concern since Black communities 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.

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 installment will include industry leaders and subjects related to speeding up an equitable and just shift to a renewable resource economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are flourishing in the renewable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys first Black woman CEO in the neighborhood solar market. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, offering consumers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget-friendly solar power, regardless of home type, and helping hard-working families minimize regular monthly expenses.
What inspired you to start your company?
I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy concern, meaning they invest over 6% of their income on home energy expenses. To be able to offer an item that will save our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods affordable access to local neighborhood solar and to help commercial properties with energy performance. WeSolar released in Baltimore and will broaden to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical power customers can purchase shared solar from a local job without needing to set up any devices in their houses. In turn, residents conserve hundreds on their electrical energy bills. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electrical power need to originate from eco-friendly energy sources by 2030.
What challenges do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is already facing a lot of pressing challenges, encouraging them that there is another one simply as important is really tough. I keep in mind attempting to explain neighborhood solar to my buddies and the discussion rapidly pivoting to real estate. The reality of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice are larger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being purchased, we are being asked to prioritize constantly for our survival.
Please show us a current company success story.
An extremely individual success story for me is cultivating a partnership with Maryland United Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. I matured in a Baptist church in Brooklyn where my cousin was the pastor, and my mom was an organizer– community was stitched into my extremely being. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wished 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 full circle. Renewable energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue because Black communities have 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 learn more about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy
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