Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Kristal Hansley, Founder & CEO of WeSolar, Inc.
I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the neighborhood solar movement. To be able to provide a product that will save our community up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities budget-friendly access to local community solar and to help industrial homes with energy performance. When I first moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to make sure city homeowners were receiving the same amount of investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has actually historically been a middle-class issue since Black neighborhoods have had to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with the individuals I needed to connect with in order to make this collaboration effective.
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 feature industry leaders and topics related to accelerating an equitable and just 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 companies are flourishing 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, providing customers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to cost effective solar power, no matter house type, and assisting hard-working households reduce month-to-month costs.
What inspired you to start your business?
The plain reality that the majority of households who were receiving renewable energy rewards were greater earnings. I remember discovering this and believing there had to be a way to resolve this space. I saw there was an issue. I had my own ideas on how to solve it, and I wished to have firm over my own decisions. I was at a community conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not bought the community solar movement. When I started to explain how critical and urgent it was for us to be a part of the solar motion, it seemed like a lightbulb had actually turned on for me. I started revealing how higher-income communities and individuals in the suburban areas were taking advantage of renewable tax rewards and had actually gotten a lot of support. The fact is, energy usage effects Black home budgets greatly. 36% of Black families experience a high energy problem, indicating they spend over 6% of their income on house energy bills. Thats a massive percentage. To be able to provide an item that will conserve our neighborhood as much as 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
Tell us about your company?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods cost effective access to local neighborhood solar and to assist commercial homes with energy efficiency. In Maryland, legislators passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electrical energy need to come from sustainable energy sources by 2030.
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
To a neighborhood that is currently facing many pressing difficulties, encouraging them that there is another one simply as crucial is extremely hard. I remember attempting to describe neighborhood solar to my buddies and the discussion rapidly pivoting to housing. The reality of the matter is, institutional racism and injustice are bigger than we know, and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being purchased, we are being asked to prioritize constantly for our survival.
Please show us a current company success story.
When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to ensure city homeowners were getting the very same quantity of financial investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue since 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 needed to link with in order to make this collaboration effective.
To find out more about WeSolar, check out wesolar.energy