Creating a solution for addressing equity, environmental health, and social impact in underrepresented communities
(Black PR Wire) BALTIMORE – In celebration of Earth Day, WeSolar and the University of Maryland Medical System announce their collaboration to develop several solar farms across Baltimore City to serve as a power source for UMMS properties and residents as well.
“Partnering with WeSolar is an incredible opportunity for UMMS to engage with a locally-owned Minority Women’s Business Enterprise company that is focused on improving living conditions and the environment in Baltimore City: two important objectives that we share,” said Dr. Mohan Suntan, President and CEO of UMMS. “Not only does this project make good business and economic sense, but it also offers a splendid opportunity to work with communities beyond the walls of our hospitals.”
Systemically, most underserved consumers across the U.S. pay significantly more for energy than do middle-to-upper-class households. For reasons like these, WeSolar is focused on community solar which is typically more accessible than the standard rooftop solar. Rather than purchasing panels for rooftop installation, customers have the option to purchase or lease panels that reside on a nearby farm. The panels then transmit energy back into the greater grid, which powers the customers’ home. Customers who take advantage of the service receive a credit each billing cycle. This is extremely beneficial for customers who desire renewable energy, but face accessibility issues, particularly those who rent or live in homes that do not support the technology. WeSolar CEO Kristal Hansley stated, “The company’s mission is about equity. Its main goal is to reduce the bills of low-to-moderate-income customers by at least 35%.”
Through this unique partnership, UMMS will take off 50% of the energy cost as an anchor tenant and provide WeSolar a 180k pre-development fee for the construction and delivery of several solar farms at locations to be determined within the Baltimore Gas & Electric utility grid. In addition, the opportunity opens over 100 virtual jobs over the next three years. These jobs are essential in rebuilding the economy and increasing accessibility.
WeSolar CEO Kristal Hansley stated, “WeSolar is excited about the new doors that will be opened because of this initiative. While at the same time the community solar project will be working to reduce social barriers, building community connections, and educating residents about solar advantages.”
Maryland Solar Power Statistics:
According to DOE, the community solar industry will grow 700% nationwide by the year 2025 (goal 5 GW). Presently, Maryland ranks 17th in the U.S. generating 4.43% of the state’s electricity from solar power, based on data collected from the Solar Energy Industries Association. Solar energy provided almost two-fifths of the state’s renewable electricity generation in 2020. The collaborative project between WeSolar and the University of Maryland Medical System marks the latest Corporate Social Responsibility initiative for the university system.
WeSolar is the nation’s first community solar provider headed by a Black Woman CEO facilitating over 100MW in customer acquisitions contracts throughout the NE! The company is growing quickly and provides consumers across Maryland access to affordable solar energy, regardless of dwelling type. The goal of bringing equity by way of reduced monthly energy expenses to underserved communities is fast being realized.
What: Earth Day, WeSolar, the Nation’s Leading Social Impact Solar Firm partners with UMMS to bring clean energy to underrepresented communities in a $25 million initiative.
When: Friday, April 22, 2020, 9:00 AM -10:00 AM
Where: WeSolar, corporate offices, 101N. Haven Street, Baltimore, Maryland. On the second floor.
Who: Kristal Hansley, CEO, WeSolar, Wanda Draper, UMMS Board member, Gregory Westone, President & Chief Executive Officer Acore, American Council on Renewable Energy, Ed Rossier, Managing Director & Head of Climate Finance, Enhanced Capital, Ted Carter, Deputy Mayor, Baltimore City, Ava Richardson, Acting Director of Sustainability, the City of Baltimore, Department of Planning/Office of Sustainability, Paul E. Taylor, Director Mayor’s Office of Small, Minority, and Women Business, Candace Chance, CEO, VPI, Kimberly Armstrong, Maryland Program Director, Solar United Neighbors, and Monica Cooper, Co-Founder, Maryland Justice Project
Why: UMMS Partnering with Black-Owned MWBE to build community solar farms to create equitable access to solar for underrepresented communities.