In This Together: How Kristal Hansley Brings Solar Energy to Underserved Communities

Kristal Hansley is the first Black woman to own a community solar energy company.
“So the overall mission of WeSolar is to one, make community solar a household product, and just getting the idea that community solar is something that everyone can tap into. Not just the folks who own a home, because typically when people think of solar, they think about, oh, I don’t want to put panels on my roof,” she explained.
Hansley’s mission as CEO and founder of WeSolar is to “change that narrative,” she said. She added that she wants to subvert how underrepresented and underserved communities think about solar energy using community solar, which utilizes groupings of solar panels to power local energy plants and reduces what customers pay on their bills.
“80% of Americans aren’t able to receive solar energy, meaning you have to be a homeowner, so you have to have good credit,” she explained. “So traditionally there’s just higher barriers to receive and benefits from traditional rooftop solar.”
Even though community solar is only a pilot program in many states, Hansley said she is overwhelmed by the number of communities looking for green energy.
“If one customer comes on our link and signs up, it never fails that they’re so excited,” she said. “And then they go tell four people and they go tell their church members and their community associations or if they’re in the line at the banks, of if they’re in line at the grocery store, they just have to tell folks about it.”

This episode is sponsored by Clorox.