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 very first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will include market leaders and topics connected to speeding up an equitable and simply shift to an eco-friendly energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are growing in the eco-friendly energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black lady CEO in the neighborhood solar market. Under her management, WeSolar is growing quickly, offering customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget-friendly solar energy, despite home type, and helping hard-working households reduce monthly costs.
What inspired you to begin your company?
The plain reality that the majority of households who were receiving renewable resource incentives were greater income. I remember 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 fix it, and I wished to have firm over my own choices. I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. As soon as I started to explain how important and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar motion, it felt like a lightbulb had turned on for me. I began demonstrating how higher-income neighborhoods and people in the suburban areas were taking advantage of eco-friendly tax incentives and had gotten a load of support. The reality is, energy use impacts Black household spending plans considerably. 36% of Black families experience a high energy burden, meaning they spend over 6% of their income on house energy bills. Thats a massive portion. To be able to offer an item that will conserve our neighborhood approximately 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to regional neighborhood solar and to assist industrial homes with energy effectiveness. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that mentions 50 percent of its electricity should come from sustainable energy sources by 2030.
What challenges do you face? Why?
To a community that is currently dealing with many pressing difficulties, encouraging them that there is another one simply as essential is really hard. I remember trying to describe neighborhood solar to my friends and the discussion quickly rotating to real estate. The fact of the matter is, institutional bigotry and oppression are larger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize constantly for our survival.
Please share with us a recent company success story.
When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to ensure city homeowners were receiving the same quantity of financial investment as the county. Renewable energy has actually historically been a middle-class problem due to the fact that Black neighborhoods have actually 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 connect with in order to make this collaboration successful.
To read more about WeSolar, go to 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 offer 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 community solar and to assist business residential or commercial properties with energy performance. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I desired to ensure city locals were getting the same quantity of financial investment as the county. Sustainable energy has actually historically been a middle-class problem because Black neighborhoods 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.

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