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 installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installment will include industry leaders and subjects associated with accelerating a fair and simply transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are growing in the sustainable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black lady CEO in the neighborhood solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing rapidly, supplying consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget friendly solar power, no matter home type, and helping hard-working households minimize month-to-month expenses.
What inspired you to start your business?
I was at a community conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. 36% of Black households experience a high energy concern, implying they spend over 6% of their earnings on home energy expenses. To be able to use an item that will save our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Inform us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods cost effective access to local neighborhood solar and to help business residential or commercial properties with energy performance. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that mentions 50 percent of its electricity should come from sustainable energy sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is already dealing with so numerous pressing obstacles, persuading them that there is another one just as essential is really difficult. I remember attempting to explain neighborhood solar to my buddies and the conversation quickly rotating to housing. The fact of the matter is, institutional racism and injustice are larger than we know, and it drowns our community. Where Black individuals are not being invested in, we are being asked to focus on continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a current business success story.
A really individual success story for me is cultivating a collaboration with Maryland United Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. I grew up in a Baptist church in Brooklyn where my cousin was the pastor, and my mama was an organizer– community was sewn into my really being. When I initially transferred to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wished to guarantee city locals were getting the exact 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 whatever complete circle. Sustainable energy has actually historically been a middle-class concern because Black neighborhoods have had to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with individuals I required to get in touch with in order to make this partnership successful.
To find out more about WeSolar, go to wesolar.energy
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I was at a community conference with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. To be able to offer a product that will save our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities inexpensive access to local community solar and to help commercial properties with energy performance. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to make sure city locals were getting the same amount of investment as the county. Sustainable energy has historically been a middle-class issue since Black neighborhoods have had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the people I needed to connect with in order to make this partnership successful.

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