Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
I was at a community meeting with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to use a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars objective is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget friendly access to local neighborhood solar and to help business properties with energy effectiveness. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was launched, and I desired 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 since Black neighborhoods have actually 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.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 27, 2021
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the first installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installment will feature industry leaders and subjects connected to speeding up an equitable and just shift to a renewable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog is the very first in a series highlighting how Black-owned member companies are thriving in the renewable resource sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations first Black woman CEO in the neighborhood solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, supplying customers across Maryland and the District of Columbia access to affordable solar power, no matter home type, and assisting hard-working families lower month-to-month expenses.
What inspired you to start your business?
The stark reality that the bulk of homes who were getting renewable resource incentives were higher earnings. I keep in mind learning this and thinking there needed to be a method to resolve this gap. I saw there was a problem. I had my own concepts on how to fix it, and I wished to have company over my own choices. I was at a community meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. As soon as I began to discuss how critical and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar movement, it felt like a lightbulb had actually switched on for me. I started demonstrating how higher-income neighborhoods and individuals in the residential areas were benefiting from eco-friendly tax rewards and had actually gotten a lots of support. The truth is, energy use impacts Black family budget plans greatly. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy concern, suggesting they invest over 6% of their income on home energy costs. Thats a huge percentage. To be able to offer a product that will save our community as much as 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Tell us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities affordable access to regional community solar and to help commercial properties with energy effectiveness. WeSolar introduced in Baltimore and will expand to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical power customers can buy shared solar from a local job without having to set up any devices in their homes. In turn, citizens conserve hundreds on their electrical energy costs. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electricity must come from eco-friendly energy sources by 2030.
What challenges do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently dealing with numerous pressing challenges, persuading them that there is another one just as crucial is extremely hard. I remember attempting to discuss community solar to my buddies and the discussion quickly pivoting to housing. The reality of the matter is, institutional racism and oppression are larger than we understand, and it drowns our community. Where Black people are not being invested in, we are being asked to prioritize constantly for our survival.
Please show us a recent company success story.
When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I desired to ensure city residents were receiving the same amount of investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has traditionally been a middle-class concern because Black communities have had to live in survival mode, however Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the individuals I needed to link with in order to make this collaboration successful.
For more information about WeSolar, see wesolar.energy