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 site series. Each installment will feature industry leaders and subjects connected to accelerating a fair and simply shift to an eco-friendly energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are growing in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations first Black female CEO in the community solar industry. Under her management, WeSolar is growing quickly, offering consumers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget friendly solar energy, regardless of house type, and assisting hard-working households reduce monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to begin your business?
I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. 36% of Black households experience a high energy problem, suggesting 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 company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods economical access to local community solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. WeSolar released in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical power consumers can buy shared solar from a local job without needing to set up any equipment in their houses. In turn, citizens conserve hundreds on their electrical energy costs. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electrical power need to come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
What challenges do you face? Why?
To a community that is currently dealing with a lot of pressing challenges, persuading them that there is another one just as essential is extremely hard. I remember trying to explain community solar to my good friends and the conversation quickly pivoting to real estate. The fact of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black individuals are not being bought, we are being asked to focus on constantly for our survival.
Please share with us a recent business success story.
A very individual success story for me is cultivating a collaboration with Maryland United Baptist Missionary Convention, Inc. I matured in a Baptist church in Brooklyn where my cousin was the pastor, and my mom was an organizer– community was stitched into my really being. When I initially transferred to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I wished to ensure city residents were receiving the same quantity 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. Renewable resource has traditionally been a middle-class problem due to the fact that Black communities have had to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and linked me with individuals I needed to get in touch with in order to make this collaboration successful.
To discover more about WeSolar, visit wesolar.energy
I was at a community conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to use an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods affordable access to regional neighborhood solar and to assist commercial homes with energy efficiency. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I desired to guarantee city citizens were receiving the same amount of investment as the county. Sustainable energy has actually historically 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 linked me with the people I needed to link with in order to make this collaboration successful.