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 happy to share the first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installation will feature industry leaders and subjects related to accelerating an equitable and simply transition to a renewable resource economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the 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 countrys first Black female CEO in the community solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing rapidly, providing consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to cost effective solar power, no matter house type, and helping hard-working families minimize monthly costs.
What inspired you to begin your company?
I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black women organizers who were not invested in the community solar movement. 36% of Black homes experience a high energy concern, indicating they spend over 6% of their earnings on home energy expenses. To be able to provide an item that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy costs is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities economical access to local community solar and to help commercial residential or commercial properties with energy effectiveness. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and will broaden to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electricity customers can acquire shared solar from a regional task without needing to install any equipment in their houses. In turn, residents save hundreds on their electricity expenses. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that specifies 50 percent of its electricity must come from eco-friendly energy sources by 2030.
What obstacles do you face? Why?
To a neighborhood that is already facing many pressing obstacles, convincing them that there is another one just as important is really tough. I keep in mind trying to explain neighborhood solar to my buddies and the discussion quickly rotating to real estate. 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 purchased, we are being asked to focus on continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a recent business success story.
An extremely personal 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 mama was an organizer– community was stitched into my really being. When I initially transferred to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I desired to guarantee city homeowners were getting the exact 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 everything full circle. Renewable resource has historically been a middle-class concern due to the fact that Black communities have needed to live in survival mode, but Reverend Mason and Reverend Dewitt brought me into the circle and connected me with individuals I required to get in touch with in order to make this partnership effective.
To get more information about WeSolar, go to wesolar.energy
I was at a neighborhood meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to use a product that will save our neighborhood up to 60% on their energy expenses is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget-friendly access to local neighborhood solar and to assist commercial homes with energy performance. When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was released, and I wanted to guarantee city residents were receiving the exact same amount of financial investment as the county. Renewable energy has actually traditionally been a middle-class issue because Black communities 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 required to connect with in order to make this partnership effective.