Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
I was at a community conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to offer 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 regional neighborhood solar and to assist industrial homes with energy efficiency. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to make sure city citizens were receiving the same quantity of financial investment as the county. Renewable energy has historically been a middle-class concern because Black communities have actually had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the individuals I needed to connect with in order to make this collaboration successful.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the very first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will feature market leaders and subjects connected to accelerating a fair and simply shift to a renewable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are growing in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys very first Black lady CEO in the community solar market. Under her management, WeSolar is growing rapidly, supplying customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to affordable solar power, regardless of home type, and helping hard-working families lower month-to-month expenditures.
What inspired you to start your company?
The stark reality that most of homes who were receiving renewable resource incentives were greater earnings. I keep in mind learning this and believing there had to be a method to address this space. I observed there was a problem. I had my own concepts on how to fix it, and I wanted to have agency over my own decisions. I was at a community conference with 50 Black females organizers who were not bought the community solar motion. It felt like a lightbulb had turned on for me once I began to discuss how important and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar motion. I began revealing how higher-income neighborhoods and individuals in the suburbs were benefiting from eco-friendly tax incentives and had received a lots of support. The reality is, energy usage impacts Black home budgets considerably. 36% of Black families experience a high energy burden, meaning they invest over 6% of their earnings on home energy costs. Thats a huge portion. To be able to provide an item that will save our neighborhood as much as 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities budget friendly access to local neighborhood solar and to help business residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. WeSolar introduced in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical energy consumers can buy shared solar from a local project without having to set up any equipment in their houses. In turn, citizens save hundreds on their electricity bills. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electrical energy need to originate from renewable energy sources by 2030.
What challenges do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently facing a lot of pressing challenges, persuading them that there is another one just as essential is really tough. I keep in mind attempting to discuss neighborhood solar to my friends and the discussion quickly rotating to housing. The reality of the matter is, institutional racism and injustice are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being purchased, we are being asked to prioritize continuously 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 wanted to make sure city locals were receiving the very same quantity of investment as the county. Sustainable energy has 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 linked me with the people I needed to connect with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To read more about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy