Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
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 community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities inexpensive access to local community solar and to assist industrial residential or commercial properties with energy efficiency. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to guarantee city residents were getting the same amount of investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue since Black communities have had to live in survival mode, but 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 successful.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will include industry leaders and topics related to accelerating an equitable and just transition to a sustainable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are flourishing in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys very first Black woman CEO in the neighborhood solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing rapidly, supplying customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to inexpensive solar power, regardless of home type, and helping hard-working families lower monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to begin your business?
I was at a community meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. 36% of Black households experience a high energy concern, meaning they spend over 6% of their income on house energy expenses. To be able to provide an item that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities budget friendly access to local neighborhood solar and to assist commercial homes with energy performance. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electricity should come from eco-friendly energy sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is currently facing many pushing obstacles, persuading them that there is another one just as crucial is extremely challenging. I keep in mind trying to explain neighborhood solar to my buddies and the conversation quickly pivoting to housing. The truth of the matter is, institutional racism and injustice are bigger than we know, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black individuals are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a recent business success story.
An extremely personal 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 mother was an organizer– community was stitched into my extremely being. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wanted to guarantee city citizens were receiving the exact 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 issue since Black communities have had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with the people I required to get in touch with in order to make this partnership successful.
To find out more about WeSolar, visit wesolar.energy