Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.

I think there is constantly a shock when individuals learn who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals just cant think it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everybody can share notes is always valuable. We are likewise constantly ready to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. We host people once a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in communities that historically havent had gain access to.

What can companies like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in spaces together so everybody can share notes is always valuable. Stabilizing direct exposure, standing next to us and saying “these neighborhoods are worthwhile of investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can possible partners do business with you?
Now, we are Chicago-focused. We are always searching for partners to invest, use financial obligation or purchase some tax credits, thats the very first ask. We are likewise always going to host individuals if they desire to see a few of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. This is not proprietary; its an open book. We host individuals once a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were applying in neighborhoods that traditionally have not had access. We are also going to be expanding our board. Because I believe that has real value, Im always difficult top executives to put their name and face on these efforts
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been great simply to satisfy the other Accelerate member business. I found out a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and discovering individuals with totally different point of views. I love the networking.
I think we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Just understanding that it exists, and that ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a huge distinction.

Inform us about your business? (mission, partners, regions you operate in, primary consumers, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies available for all: all communities, all families, everybody should have access. Someone, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those technologies reach everybody.

Share with us a recent success story.
We just recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to reveal that we will be developing a $30 million, totally sustainable and completely budget friendly advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 domestic units, a cafe, a business center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
I believe there is always a shock when people discover who is behind our business. Even in our own communities, individuals just cant believe it.
The other thing that I think is necessary is we have a financial impact that resonates with individuals, and its a pretty powerful message. Were intending to cut utility expenses for households in half. Thats a big deal, you know. That quantity of money impacts the budget plan of everyday families
What obstacles do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were constructing sustainable housing in low- and moderate-income communities, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I think the lesson is that coalition building is essential.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Image courtesy of Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the third installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installment features market leaders and topics associated with speeding up an equitable and just shift to a renewable resource economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member business are thriving in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets expert with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and property analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his knowledge and performance history of creating consistent returns with an individual passion for helping transform neighborhoods and their influence on the planet. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his impact on Americas shift to a tidy economy.
CHECKED OUT MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to start your company?
I had 2 turning points that made me jump. In 1999, my mother received a $400 gas expense, and she was only making 10 bucks an hour, so we could not manage the gas expense. Therefore, sadly, we had our gas and heat shut down. For roughly a year in my teenagers, we needed to boil water and bring it as much as a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were distinctively difficult times, and experiences like that just stick to you. I dont care what takes place the rest of your profession or what your lifestyle is progressing; those minutes are with you permanently. As I talk about that with various groups around the nation, it has actually ended up being clear that my experience is not an abnormality. A lot of people have similar anecdotes, whichs not a good idea
The second turning point was most likely 15 years earlier, as I was working for a firm that was buying a host of things around the world. People were can be found in to request for a financial investment around sustainable energy, and I presented a concern to them: “What you are doing with these solar companies is spectacular, and the expense of solar is coming down, however how does that help daily people?” I asked, “Where are they in your formula? Where is their gain access to? They are paying an out of proportion amount of their earnings on energy.” They looked confused that I would even attempt inquire about the everyday individuals. They said, “Well, you know, low- and moderate-income households typically live in multi-family structures, and it is tough to get in contact with those constructing owners. If you can not get in contact with the building owners, you need to get in touch with individual households and the cost of getting those individuals informed and after that subscribing to renewable resource is not a favorable company model.” I asked, “What if I owned the real estate development and the solar?” And they said, whoever does that is going to alter the market forever. So I quit my task. I believe I turned in my resignation within 6 months of that discussion, and I began my business. Since that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up, I named it 548 Capital. Everything is I do is targeted to households in those scenarios and focused on enhancing their quality of life