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

Share with us a recent success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to announce that we will be developing a $30 million, totally budget-friendly and totally sustainable development, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are constructing 50 domestic systems, a coffeehouse, a business center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered usage in the city
What effect are you making?
When individuals learn who is behind our company, I think there is always a shock. Even in our own communities, individuals just cant think it. To me, thats quite rewarding. People seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is necessary is we have an economic effect that resonates with individuals, and its a quite effective message. Were aiming to cut utility expenses for families in half. Thats a huge offer, you understand. That quantity of money effects the spending plan of daily families
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
You cant skip the grind. Let me acknowledge that beginning an organization, any business, was going to be challenging. With that said, access to capital is ungodly difficult. When I go to banks and state that were developing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they look at me like Ive spoken the wrong language. These communities are still being red-lined. Some banks dont wish to invest; they do not wish to partner; they do not wish to do their share. It is a fight of generational size that Im trying to combat here, and weve made really small, incremental progress. I think the lesson is that union building is essential. My voice just implies a lot, but the more I can bring buddies to the table and magnify that voice, the more we can raise attention to the requirement

Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, areas you run in, primary customers, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations available for all: all communities, all households, everybody must have access. Somebody, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everybody.

I think there is always a shock when individuals learn who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, individuals simply cant believe it. Putting people in spaces together so everybody can share notes is always important. We are likewise always willing to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host people once a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in communities that traditionally have not had gain access to.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture 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 subjects connected to speeding up an equitable and just transition to a sustainable energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are growing in the renewable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets expert with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and genuine estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his proficiency and performance history of producing consistent returns with a personal enthusiasm for assisting 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 effect on Americas shift to a tidy economy.
FOUND 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 essential minutes that made me jump. In 1999, my mother received a $400 gas costs, and she was only making 10 bucks an hour, so we could not pay for the gas bill. A lot of individuals have similar anecdotes, and thats not an excellent thing
The 2nd critical moment was probably 15 years earlier, as I was working for a company that was purchasing a host of things around the globe. People were can be found in to request a financial investment around renewable resource, and I positioned a concern to them: “What you are doing with these solar firms is magnificent, and the expense of solar is boiling down, however how does that aid daily individuals?” I asked, “Where are they in your equation? Where is their gain access to? They are paying a disproportionate amount of their income on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even attempt ask about the daily people. They stated, “Well, you know, low- and moderate-income households typically live in multi-family structures, and it is hard to get in contact with those developing owners. If you can not get in contact with the building owners, you need to contact private families and the cost of getting those individuals educated and then signing up for renewable resource is not a beneficial company design.” I asked, “What if I owned the real estate advancement and the solar?” And they said, whoever does that is going to change the market permanently. I stopped my task. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I began my business. I named it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the general public real estate where I matured. Everything is I do is targeted to households in those circumstances and focused on improving their quality of life

What can organizations 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 important. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and stating “these neighborhoods are worthwhile of investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can possible partners do service with you?
Right now, we are Chicago-focused. We are constantly looking for partners to invest, offer financial obligation or buy some tax credits, thats the very first ask. If they desire to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities, we are likewise always prepared to host people. This is not exclusive; its an open book. We host people once a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were applying in neighborhoods that historically havent had access. We are also going to be broadening our board. Im always challenging top executives to put their name and face on these efforts because I believe that has real value
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been excellent simply to fulfill the other Accelerate member companies. I found out a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and finding out about individuals with completely various viewpoints. I like the networking.
I think we are doing the finest we can do in the COVID environment. Just understanding that it exists, which ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a huge distinction.