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 delighted to share the very first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installation will feature market leaders and subjects connected to speeding up an equitable and just shift to a renewable resource 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 thriving in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations first Black female CEO in the community solar market. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, providing consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to affordable solar energy, no matter home type, and assisting hard-working families minimize monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to begin your company?
The plain fact that most of homes who were receiving renewable energy rewards were higher earnings. I remember learning this and thinking there needed to be a way to resolve this space. I observed there was a problem. I had my own ideas on how to fix it, and I wanted to have company over my own decisions. I was at a community conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not bought the community solar movement. When I started to describe how crucial 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 began demonstrating how higher-income communities and individuals in the suburban areas were taking advantage of renewable tax rewards and had actually gotten a heap of support. The fact is, energy use effects Black family budget plans considerably. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy burden, meaning they invest over 6% of their income on home energy expenses. Thats an enormous portion. To be able to offer an item that will save our community approximately 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities inexpensive access to local community solar and to help industrial properties with energy effectiveness. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electricity must come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is already dealing with so many pressing challenges, convincing them that there is another one just as essential is extremely hard. I remember trying to discuss community solar to my good friends and the conversation quickly pivoting to real estate. The truth of the matter is, institutional racism and injustice are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black individuals are not being bought, we are being asked to focus on constantly for our survival.
Please share with us a current business success story.
An extremely individual success story for me is cultivating a collaboration with Maryland United Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. I grew up in a Baptist church in Brooklyn where my cousin was the pastor, and my mom was an organizer– neighborhood was stitched into my very being. When I first relocated to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wished to make sure city homeowners were receiving the same quantity of financial investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing whatever full circle. Eco-friendly energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue since Black neighborhoods have actually needed to reside in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with individuals I required to link with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To find out more about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy
I was at a community conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to provide a product that will save our community up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget-friendly access to regional neighborhood solar and to assist commercial properties with energy performance. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to ensure city locals were getting the very same amount of investment as the county. Eco-friendly 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 linked me with the individuals I needed to link with in order to make this partnership successful.