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 associated with speeding up an equitable and simply transition 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 business are flourishing in the renewable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations first Black lady CEO in the community solar industry. Under her management, WeSolar is growing rapidly, supplying customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to economical solar energy, despite house type, and assisting hard-working households decrease month-to-month expenditures.
What inspired you to start your company?
The plain reality that the majority of families who were receiving renewable resource rewards were greater income. I remember discovering this and thinking there needed to be a method to address this space. I discovered there was a problem. I had my own ideas on how to solve it, and I wished to have company over my own choices. I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. Once I began to discuss how vital and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar movement, it seemed like a lightbulb had switched on for me. I started revealing how higher-income neighborhoods and individuals in the suburban areas were making the most of sustainable tax rewards and had received a load of support. The truth is, energy usage impacts Black household budget plans considerably. 36% of Black families experience a high energy burden, implying they spend over 6% of their income on home energy costs. Thats a huge portion. To be able to use an item that will conserve our community as much as 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Tell us about your business?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities budget-friendly access to local community solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and will broaden to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical energy customers can acquire shared solar from a regional job without having to set up any devices in their houses. In turn, citizens save hundreds on their electricity expenses. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electrical power need to come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is currently dealing with a lot of pushing obstacles, encouraging them that there is another one simply as important is extremely difficult. I remember attempting to discuss neighborhood solar to my good friends and the discussion rapidly pivoting to real estate. The truth of the matter is, institutional racism and injustice are larger than we know, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being invested in, we are being asked to prioritize constantly for our survival.
Please share with us a recent business success story.
When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I desired to guarantee city citizens were getting the very same quantity of financial investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has historically been a middle-class problem since 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 required to link with in order to make this partnership successful.
To learn more about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy
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I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. To be able to use an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods cost effective access to local neighborhood solar and to assist commercial properties with energy performance. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to guarantee city citizens were getting the same quantity of financial investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has traditionally been a middle-class issue since 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 people I needed to link with in order to make this collaboration successful.

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