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 pleased to share the first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will feature market leaders and topics related to speeding up a fair and simply transition to a renewable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the 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 first Black woman CEO in the neighborhood solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, providing customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget-friendly solar power, no matter home type, and helping hard-working households lower regular monthly 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 community solar movement. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy problem, meaning they spend over 6% of their income on home energy costs. To be able to provide an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods economical access to regional community solar and to help business properties with energy efficiency. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electrical power must come from sustainable energy sources by 2030.
What challenges do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently facing many pushing obstacles, persuading them that there is another one simply as crucial is really hard. I keep in mind trying to describe community solar to my buddies and the discussion quickly rotating to real estate. The fact of the matter is, institutional racism and oppression are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black individuals are not being invested in, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please show us a recent business success story.
When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I desired to guarantee city locals were receiving the same amount of investment as the county. Sustainable energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class problem due to the fact that Black neighborhoods have had to live in survival mode, however 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 collaboration successful.
To find out more about WeSolar, check out wesolar.energy
I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. To be able to use a product that will save our community up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods affordable access to local community solar and to assist 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 ensure city homeowners were getting the exact same amount of investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has actually historically been a middle-class concern due to the fact that Black neighborhoods have had to live in survival mode, however 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 effective.