Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.

I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to provide a product that will save our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget-friendly access to local community solar and to assist commercial homes with energy efficiency. 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. Renewable energy has historically been a middle-class problem since Black communities 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 collaboration effective.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will include market leaders and topics connected to speeding up an equitable and just transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are flourishing in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black woman CEO in the community solar market. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, offering customers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to cost effective solar energy, regardless of house type, and helping hard-working families reduce monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to start your business?
The plain truth that most of homes who were receiving renewable energy incentives were greater income. I keep in mind discovering this and believing there needed to be a way to resolve this gap. I saw there was a problem. I had my own ideas on how to solve it, and I desired to have firm over my own choices. I was at a community conference with 50 Black females organizers who were not purchased the neighborhood solar motion. Once I started to discuss how important 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 began demonstrating how higher-income neighborhoods and people in the suburbs were making the most of eco-friendly tax rewards and had gotten a lot of assistance. The truth is, energy usage impacts Black home budget plans greatly. 36% of Black families experience a high energy concern, implying they spend over 6% of their earnings on home energy expenses. Thats an enormous percentage. To be able to provide a product that will save our community as much as 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Inform us about your company?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget friendly access to local community solar and to assist industrial homes with energy efficiency. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that mentions 50 percent of its electrical power need to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is already dealing with a lot of pressing challenges, convincing them that there is another one simply as essential is really challenging. I remember attempting to discuss neighborhood solar to my buddies and the conversation rapidly pivoting to housing. The fact of the matter is, institutional racism and oppression are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being purchased, we are being asked to focus on continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a recent company success story.
An extremely personal 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 mommy was an organizer– neighborhood was stitched into my really being. When I first relocated to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wished to ensure city citizens 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 whatever complete circle. Eco-friendly energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue since Black neighborhoods have had to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the individuals I needed to get in touch with in order to make this partnership successful.
To find out more about WeSolar, visit wesolar.energy
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