Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to offer a product that will save our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to local neighborhood solar and to assist business properties with energy efficiency. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to ensure city residents were receiving the very same quantity of investment as the county. Renewable energy has traditionally been a middle-class issue because 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 required to connect with in order to make this partnership effective.
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 series. Each installation will include 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 is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are growing 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 industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, providing customers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget friendly solar power, despite house type, and helping hard-working families decrease month-to-month costs.
What inspired you to begin your company?
I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy problem, implying they spend over 6% of their earnings on house energy expenses. To be able to provide a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Inform us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities budget-friendly access to regional community solar and to help commercial homes with energy effectiveness. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electricity must come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
What challenges do you face? Why?
To a community that is currently dealing with so many pressing obstacles, persuading them that there is another one just as important is very difficult. I remember trying to explain community solar to my friends and the discussion quickly pivoting to housing.
Please show us a current company success story.
A very personal success story for me is cultivating a partnership with Maryland United Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. I matured in a Baptist church in Brooklyn where my cousin was the pastor, and my mama was an organizer– neighborhood was sewn into my very being. When I first transferred to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to ensure city homeowners were receiving the very 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 full circle. Sustainable energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class problem since Black communities have actually needed to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with individuals I needed to link with in order to make this partnership effective.
To read more about WeSolar, check out wesolar.energy