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 very first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installation will feature industry leaders and subjects associated with accelerating an equitable and simply transition to an eco-friendly energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are thriving in the renewable energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations first Black lady CEO in the community solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing rapidly, offering customers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to cost effective solar energy, despite house type, and helping hard-working families minimize monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to start your business?
The stark truth that most of households who were getting eco-friendly energy incentives were greater earnings. I remember learning this and thinking there had to be a method to resolve this gap. I discovered there was an issue. I had my own concepts on how to fix it, and I desired to have company over my own choices. I was at a community meeting with 50 Black females organizers who were not bought the community solar movement. As soon as I started to describe how important and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar motion, it felt like a lightbulb had turned on for me. I began showing how higher-income communities and people in the residential areas were benefiting from renewable tax incentives and had received a heap of support. The truth is, energy usage effects Black home spending plans significantly. 36% of Black families experience a high energy problem, indicating they spend over 6% of their earnings on home energy costs. Thats an enormous percentage. To be able to offer an item that will save our neighborhood as much as 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods economical access to local neighborhood solar and to assist industrial homes with energy effectiveness. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical power customers can buy shared solar from a regional job without needing to set up any devices in their homes. In turn, citizens save hundreds on their electrical power costs. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electricity must come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What challenges do you face? Why?
To a community that is already dealing with a lot of pushing challenges, encouraging them that there is another one just as essential is extremely challenging. I remember attempting to explain neighborhood solar to my buddies and the conversation quickly rotating to housing. The reality of the matter is, institutional racism and oppression are bigger than we know, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being bought, we are being asked to focus on continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a current 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– community was sewn into my really being. When I initially relocated to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to guarantee city residents were receiving the same amount of investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing everything complete circle. Renewable resource has historically been a middle-class problem because Black neighborhoods have actually had to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with individuals I needed to link with in order to make this partnership successful.
To find out more about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy
I was at a community meeting 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 neighborhood up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods economical access to local neighborhood solar and to help commercial residential or commercial properties with energy performance. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to guarantee city locals were receiving the very same amount of investment as the county. Renewable energy has actually historically been a middle-class problem since 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 required to connect with in order to make this partnership successful.