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 installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will include market leaders and subjects associated with accelerating a fair and simply shift to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member business are flourishing in the renewable resource 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, regardless of home type, and helping hard-working families lower monthly costs.
What inspired you to start your company?
I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. 36% of Black households experience a high energy concern, suggesting they spend over 6% of their earnings on house energy bills. To be able to offer a product that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Tell us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities budget-friendly access to regional community solar and to assist business properties with energy effectiveness. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical energy consumers can purchase shared solar from a regional project without having to set up any equipment in their houses. In turn, homeowners save hundreds on their electrical power bills. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electrical energy should originate from eco-friendly energy sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you face? Why?
To a community that is currently facing many pushing obstacles, convincing them that there is another one just as important is very difficult. I keep in mind attempting to explain community solar to my friends and the conversation rapidly pivoting to real estate. The fact of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice are larger than we understand, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being invested in, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a current business success story.
A really 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– community was stitched into my really being. When I initially transferred to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I desired to make sure city residents were getting 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 whatever cycle. Renewable energy has traditionally been a middle-class problem due to the fact that Black neighborhoods have needed to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the people I needed to get in touch with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To get more information about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy
I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar motion. To be able to offer an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced communities inexpensive access to regional community solar and to assist business properties with energy effectiveness. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I desired to make sure city residents were getting the exact same amount of financial investment as the county. Sustainable energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue due to the fact that Black neighborhoods have actually 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 connect with in order to make this partnership effective.