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 first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series. Each installment will feature market leaders and subjects related to accelerating an equitable and just shift to a renewable resource 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 energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys very first Black woman CEO in the community solar market. Under her management, WeSolar is growing rapidly, supplying customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to budget friendly solar power, no matter house type, and helping hard-working households reduce month-to-month expenditures.
What inspired you to begin your business?
The plain reality that most of households who were receiving sustainable energy rewards were higher earnings. I remember learning this and thinking there had to be a method to resolve this gap. I observed there was a problem. I had my own ideas on how to fix it, and I wished to have agency over my own decisions. I was at a community meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not purchased the neighborhood solar motion. It felt like a lightbulb had turned on for me once I began to explain how important and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar motion. I began revealing how higher-income communities and people in the residential areas were taking benefit of eco-friendly tax rewards and had gotten a ton of support. The fact is, energy use impacts Black household spending plans greatly. 36% of Black households experience a high energy burden, suggesting they invest over 6% of their income on house energy expenses. Thats an enormous percentage. To be able to offer a product that will save our community approximately 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Tell us about your business?
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget friendly access to regional community solar and to assist industrial homes with energy effectiveness. WeSolar introduced in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electricity customers can buy shared solar from a local job without having to set up any equipment in their houses. In turn, homeowners save hundreds on their electricity expenses. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electrical energy must come from renewable resource sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
To a community that is already facing so numerous pushing challenges, encouraging them that there is another one simply as crucial is extremely difficult. I keep in mind attempting to explain community solar to my friends and the discussion quickly pivoting to housing.
Please show us a current company success story.
A really individual 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 stitched into my extremely being. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wished to guarantee city residents were receiving the exact same quantity of investment as the county. It was the church that took me in, and the church that then supported my vision– bringing everything cycle. Renewable resource has actually traditionally been a middle-class problem due to the fact that Black communities have had to live in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with individuals I required to link with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To read more about WeSolar, see

I was at a community meeting with 50 Black females organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. To be able to offer an item that will save our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods affordable access to local community solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to ensure city locals were receiving the same amount of financial investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has historically been a middle-class concern because Black communities 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 link with in order to make this partnership effective.