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 happy to share the first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installation will feature market leaders and topics related to accelerating a fair and just transition to a renewable resource 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 flourishing in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations first Black female CEO in the neighborhood solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, providing customers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget-friendly solar power, despite house type, and assisting hard-working households minimize regular monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to start your business?
The plain truth that most of homes who were getting renewable energy rewards were greater earnings. I remember learning this and believing there had to be a method to address this space. I discovered there was a problem. I had my own concepts on how to solve it, and I wished to have agency over my own choices. I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not purchased the neighborhood solar motion. As soon as I started to describe how critical and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar motion, it seemed like a lightbulb had turned on for me. I started demonstrating how higher-income communities and people in the suburbs were taking advantage of sustainable tax rewards and had actually gotten a lots of assistance. The fact is, energy use impacts Black home spending plans greatly. 36% of Black households experience a high energy burden, indicating they invest over 6% of their income on house energy expenses. Thats an enormous portion. To be able to provide a product that will conserve our neighborhood as much as 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to regional community solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electrical energy must come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently facing a lot of pressing difficulties, encouraging them that there is another one simply as essential is extremely challenging. I keep in mind trying to explain community solar to my good friends and the conversation quickly rotating to housing. The fact of the matter is, institutional bigotry and oppression are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. 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 very individual success story for me is cultivating a partnership with Maryland United Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. I grew up in a Baptist church in Brooklyn where my cousin was the pastor, and my mother was an organizer– community was sewn into my very being. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wished to make sure city locals were receiving the very 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 everything cycle. Sustainable energy has actually historically been a middle-class concern since Black neighborhoods have had to live in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with individuals I required to get in touch with in order to make this partnership successful.
To find out more about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy
I was at a community conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. To be able to offer a product that will save our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities budget friendly access to local neighborhood solar and to help commercial residential or commercial properties with energy efficiency. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to make sure city homeowners were receiving the exact same quantity of financial investment as the county. Sustainable energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class concern because Black neighborhoods 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 needed to connect with in order to make this partnership successful.