Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
I was at a community conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. To be able to provide a product that will save our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to local neighborhood solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy performance. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I desired to make sure city citizens were getting the same quantity of financial investment as the county. Renewable energy has historically been a middle-class concern because Black communities have 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.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installment will feature industry leaders and topics connected to speeding up a fair and just shift to a sustainable energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are prospering in the sustainable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black female CEO in the community solar industry. Under her management, WeSolar is growing rapidly, providing consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to inexpensive solar energy, regardless of home type, and helping hard-working families reduce monthly expenses.
What inspired you to start your business?
The stark truth that most of families who were receiving renewable resource rewards were greater income. I keep in mind learning this and thinking there needed to be a method to resolve this gap. I observed there was an issue. I had my own concepts on how to resolve it, and I wished to have firm over my own choices. I was at a community meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not purchased the neighborhood solar motion. Once I began to discuss how crucial and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar motion, it seemed like a lightbulb had actually switched on for me. I started demonstrating how higher-income communities and people in the suburbs were taking advantage of eco-friendly tax incentives and had actually received a load of support. The reality is, energy usage effects Black family spending plans significantly. 36% of Black families experience a high energy problem, meaning they invest over 6% of their earnings on house energy costs. Thats a huge percentage. To be able to offer a product that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities inexpensive access to regional community solar and to assist business properties with energy efficiency. WeSolar released in Baltimore and will broaden to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical power consumers can buy shared solar from a regional job without needing to set up any devices in their houses. In turn, residents save hundreds on their electrical power costs. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electricity must come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is currently facing so lots of pressing challenges, encouraging them that there is another one simply as essential is really challenging. I remember attempting to discuss community solar to my good friends and the discussion quickly pivoting to real estate.
Please show us a recent business 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 mother was an organizer– neighborhood was stitched into my really being. When I first relocated to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to ensure city residents were getting the exact same quantity of investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing whatever cycle. Eco-friendly energy has historically been a middle-class problem because Black communities have needed to live in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the people I required to get in touch with in order to make this collaboration effective.
For more information about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy