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 first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installment will include market leaders and topics related to accelerating an equitable and simply shift to an eco-friendly energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are prospering in the renewable resource 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 leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, providing customers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to inexpensive solar energy, no matter home type, and helping hard-working households decrease monthly costs.
What inspired you to begin your business?
The plain reality that most of homes who were receiving sustainable energy incentives were greater earnings. I remember discovering this and thinking there had to be a method to resolve this space. I discovered there was an issue. I had my own concepts on how to solve it, and I desired to have company over my own choices. I was at a community meeting with 50 Black females organizers who were not bought the neighborhood solar movement. As soon as I began to explain how vital and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar movement, it seemed like a lightbulb had turned on for me. I began demonstrating how higher-income communities and people in the residential areas were taking advantage of eco-friendly tax incentives and had gotten a lot of support. The reality is, energy use effects Black home spending plans significantly. 36% of Black families experience a high energy concern, meaning they spend over 6% of their income on home energy expenses. Thats a huge percentage. To be able to use a product 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 neighborhoods economical access to regional neighborhood solar and to help industrial residential or commercial 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 task without having to install any devices in their homes. In turn, citizens conserve hundreds on their electricity expenses. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electrical power must come from sustainable energy sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently facing a lot of pushing challenges, persuading them that there is another one simply as crucial is extremely difficult. I remember trying to describe community solar to my good friends and the discussion quickly rotating to real estate. The truth of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black individuals are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a current business success story.
A really personal 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 mommy was an organizer– neighborhood was sewn into my extremely being. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wished to ensure city residents were receiving the 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 full circle. Renewable energy has traditionally been a middle-class issue since Black neighborhoods have needed to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the individuals I needed to link with in order to make this partnership effective.
To get more information about WeSolar, see

I was at a community conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. To be able to provide an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to regional neighborhood solar and to assist commercial properties with energy efficiency. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to make sure city locals were receiving the very same quantity of investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has historically been a middle-class problem 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 individuals I needed to connect with in order to make this collaboration successful.