Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
I was at a community meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. To be able to use an item that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to local community solar and to help business homes with energy efficiency. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I desired to guarantee city homeowners were receiving the very same amount of financial investment as the county. Sustainable energy has actually historically 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 connected me with the individuals I required to link with in order to make this collaboration effective.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installment will include market leaders and subjects associated with accelerating a fair and simply transition to a renewable resource economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are growing in the sustainable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black lady CEO in the neighborhood solar market. Under her management, WeSolar is growing rapidly, providing customers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget friendly solar power, regardless of home type, and assisting hard-working households decrease regular monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to begin your company?
I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. 36% of Black households experience a high energy problem, meaning they spend over 6% of their income on house energy costs. To be able to provide an item that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Inform us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities affordable access to local neighborhood solar and to help industrial properties with energy efficiency. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and will expand 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 equipment in their houses. In turn, homeowners save hundreds on their electrical energy costs. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electricity need to come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is already dealing with numerous pushing difficulties, persuading them that there is another one simply as important is extremely tough. I keep in mind trying to discuss neighborhood solar to my pals and the discussion rapidly pivoting to housing. The fact of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice are larger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being bought, we are being asked to focus on continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a recent business success story.
A really 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 mother was an organizer– neighborhood was stitched into my very being. When I first transferred to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to make sure city citizens were getting the exact 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 historically been a middle-class problem due to the fact that Black neighborhoods have actually had to live in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with individuals I needed to link with in order to make this collaboration successful.
To read more about WeSolar, go to wesolar.energy