Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to offer a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities inexpensive access to local community solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy performance. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to make sure city residents were getting the same amount of financial investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has actually 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 link with in order to make this collaboration successful.
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 site series. Each installment will feature market leaders and topics related to accelerating a fair and just transition to a sustainable energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are thriving in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys first Black female CEO in the community solar market. Under her management, WeSolar is growing quickly, supplying customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to inexpensive solar power, regardless of house type, and helping hard-working families minimize regular monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to begin your business?
I was at a community meeting with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy concern, indicating they spend over 6% of their income on home energy costs. To be able to offer an item that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities economical access to regional neighborhood solar and to help industrial homes with energy efficiency. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that mentions 50 percent of its electrical energy should come from sustainable energy sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you face? Why?
To a community that is already facing numerous pushing challenges, convincing them that there is another one just as important is really challenging. I remember trying to explain community solar to my buddies and the discussion rapidly pivoting to housing. The fact of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice are larger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being bought, we are being asked to focus on constantly for our survival.
Please share with us a recent company success story.
A very individual 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 mama was an organizer– neighborhood was stitched into my extremely being. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I desired to ensure city residents were getting the very 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. Eco-friendly energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue because Black neighborhoods have had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with individuals I required to connect with in order to make this partnership effective.
For more information about WeSolar, go to wesolar.energy