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 very 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 transition to an eco-friendly energy economy. In acknowledgment 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 eco-friendly energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black female CEO in the neighborhood solar industry. Under her management, WeSolar is growing quickly, offering consumers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget friendly solar energy, regardless of house type, and helping hard-working households lower month-to-month expenses.
What inspired you to start your business?
The stark reality that most of households who were receiving renewable resource rewards were higher income. I keep in mind discovering this and believing there had to be a way to address this gap. I discovered there was an issue. I had my own concepts on how to fix it, and I wanted to have firm over my own choices. I was at a community conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not bought the neighborhood solar movement. When I began to explain how vital and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar motion, it felt like a lightbulb had switched on for me. I started showing how higher-income neighborhoods and individuals in the suburbs were making the most of eco-friendly tax rewards and had actually gotten a load of assistance. The reality is, energy usage effects Black household budget plans significantly. 36% of Black families experience a high energy burden, meaning they invest over 6% of their income on house energy expenses. Thats a huge portion. To be able to provide a product that will conserve our community approximately 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods cost effective access to regional neighborhood solar and to help commercial residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. WeSolar released in Baltimore and will broaden to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical power customers can purchase shared solar from a regional project without needing to set up any equipment in their houses. In turn, residents conserve hundreds on their electrical energy costs. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electrical energy should come from sustainable energy sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently dealing with many pressing challenges, persuading them that there is another one simply as crucial is very challenging. I keep in mind attempting to describe community solar to my friends and the discussion quickly rotating to housing. The truth of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please show us a recent company success story.
When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I desired to make sure city residents were receiving the same amount of investment as the county. Sustainable energy has traditionally been a middle-class problem because Black neighborhoods have actually had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the individuals I required to connect with in order to make this collaboration successful.
To learn more about WeSolar, go to

I was at a community conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to provide an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities affordable access to regional community solar and to assist business properties with energy effectiveness. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to make sure city homeowners were getting the same amount of financial investment as the county. Renewable energy has actually historically been a middle-class problem because Black neighborhoods 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.