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 installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installation will include industry leaders and topics connected to accelerating an equitable and just shift to a sustainable energy 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 growing 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, supplying consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget-friendly solar energy, regardless of home type, and helping hard-working families minimize monthly costs.
What inspired you to begin your business?
The plain truth that the bulk of families who were receiving renewable resource incentives were greater income. I keep in mind discovering this and believing there needed to be a way to address this gap. I discovered there was an issue. I had my own concepts on how to resolve it, and I wished to have agency over my own choices. I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not purchased the neighborhood solar movement. It felt like a lightbulb had turned on for me as soon as I started to explain how vital and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar motion. I began demonstrating how higher-income communities and people in the residential areas were taking benefit of renewable tax rewards and had gotten a load of support. The truth is, energy use effects Black household budget plans greatly. 36% of Black families experience a high energy concern, implying they invest over 6% of their income on home energy expenses. Thats an enormous percentage. To be able to use an item that will save our neighborhood as much as 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget-friendly access to regional community solar and to assist industrial homes with energy performance. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electricity need to come from eco-friendly energy sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is already facing so lots of pressing difficulties, convincing them that there is another one simply as important is very challenging. I remember attempting to describe neighborhood solar to my pals and the discussion quickly pivoting to housing.
Please share with us a current business success story.
An extremely personal 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 mama was an organizer– community was sewn into my very being. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wished to ensure city locals were getting the very same amount of financial investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing everything complete circle. Renewable resource has traditionally been a middle-class problem since Black neighborhoods have actually needed to reside in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the individuals I needed to get in touch with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To find out more about WeSolar, see

I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. To be able to offer a product that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods affordable access to local neighborhood solar and to help commercial residential or commercial properties with energy performance. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I desired to ensure city residents were receiving the exact same quantity of investment as the county. Renewable energy has actually historically 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 connected me with the people I required to link with in order to make this partnership effective.