Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
I was at a community conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. To be able to provide an item that will conserve our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget-friendly access to regional neighborhood solar and to help industrial residential or commercial properties with energy efficiency. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to guarantee city residents were getting the same amount of financial investment as the county. Renewable energy has historically been a middle-class issue because 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 individuals I needed to link with in order to make this partnership successful.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installment will include industry leaders and topics associated with speeding up a fair and just shift to an eco-friendly 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 prospering in the eco-friendly energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the countrys first Black female CEO in the community solar market. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing rapidly, supplying customers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to affordable solar energy, regardless of house type, and helping hard-working households reduce monthly costs.
What inspired you to start your company?
I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy concern, meaning they invest over 6% of their earnings on home energy bills. To be able to provide an item that will save our community up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods economical access to local neighborhood solar and to help business homes with energy efficiency. WeSolar released in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical energy consumers can purchase shared solar from a regional job without needing to install any equipment in their houses. In turn, citizens save hundreds on their electrical power expenses. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electrical energy must come from eco-friendly energy sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you deal with? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently dealing with numerous pushing challenges, persuading them that there is another one simply as crucial is really hard. I remember attempting to describe community solar to my pals and the discussion rapidly pivoting to real estate. The fact of the matter is, institutional bigotry and oppression are bigger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being purchased, we are being asked to focus on constantly for our survival.
Please share with us a recent company success story.
A very individual success story for me is cultivating a collaboration 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– neighborhood was sewn into my extremely being. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to ensure city locals were receiving the very 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 whatever cycle. Renewable resource has traditionally been a middle-class issue since Black communities have needed to reside in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with individuals I required to connect with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To find out more about WeSolar, go to wesolar.energy