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 pleased to share the first installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series. Each installment will include market leaders and topics associated with accelerating an equitable and just transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August blog site is the first in a series highlighting how black-owned member business are thriving in the eco-friendly energy sector.
Kristal Hansley is the Founder & & CEO of WeSolar, Inc and is the nations very first Black Woman CEO in the community solar industry. Under her leadership, WeSolar is growing quickly, providing consumers throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia access to cost effective solar energy, despite home type, and helping hard-working households reduce monthly expenditures.
What inspired you to start your company?
The stark fact that the bulk of families who were getting renewable resource rewards were higher earnings. I remember learning this and thinking there had to be a way to address this gap. I observed there was a problem. I had my own concepts on how to fix it, and I wanted to have firm over my own decisions. I was at a neighborhood conference with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not bought the neighborhood solar motion. It felt like a lightbulb had actually turned on for me as soon as I started to discuss how crucial and immediate it was for us to be a part of the solar movement. I started revealing how higher-income communities and people in the suburbs were taking advantage of renewable tax incentives and had actually received a ton of support. The fact is, energy use effects Black household budget plans significantly. 36% of Black households experience a high energy concern, suggesting they invest over 6% of their earnings on house energy expenses. Thats an enormous portion. To be able to use an item that will conserve our neighborhood as much as 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
Inform us about your business?
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced neighborhoods budget-friendly access to regional neighborhood solar and to assist business properties with energy efficiency. WeSolar launched in Baltimore and will broaden to other cities in the future. Through WeSolar, electrical energy customers can buy shared solar from a local task without needing to set up any devices in their houses. In turn, homeowners save hundreds on their electrical energy costs. In Maryland, lawmakers passed legislation that states 50 percent of its electricity should come from renewable energy sources by 2030.
What difficulties do you face? Why?
To a community that is currently dealing with numerous pushing challenges, persuading them that there is another one simply as essential is really difficult. I keep in mind trying to discuss neighborhood solar to my good friends and the discussion quickly pivoting to real estate. The fact of the matter is, institutional bigotry and injustice is bigger than we know and it drowns our neighborhood. Where Black people are not being bought, we are being asked to prioritize continuously for our survival.
Please share with us a recent business success story.
When I initially moved to Baltimore, the Community Solar Pilot Program was introduced, and I wanted to ensure city citizens were getting the same amount of financial investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has actually historically been a middle-class concern since Black communities have 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 connect with in order to make this partnership successful.
To read more about WeSolar see wesolar.energy
I was at a community meeting with 50 Black ladies organizers who were not invested in the community solar motion. To be able to provide a product that will conserve our community up to 60% on their energy bills is transformative.
WeSolars mission is to bring under-resourced communities cost effective access to regional community solar and to assist industrial 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 very same amount of investment as the county. Eco-friendly energy has actually historically been a middle-class issue because Black communities have actually 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 link with in order to make this partnership successful.