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, entirely sustainable and entirely affordable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 property units, a coffee bar, a business center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered usage in the city
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What effect are you making?
I believe there is always a shock when people discover who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, individuals simply cant think it.
The other thing that I believe is crucial is we have a financial impact that resonates with individuals, and its a quite effective message. Were intending to cut energy costs for families in half. Thats a huge offer, you understand. That amount of cash impacts the budget plan of daily families
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What challenges do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and say that were building 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 believe the lesson is that coalition structure is essential.

What can companies like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in spaces together so everyone can share notes is always important. Through the Accelerate program, weve had a possibility to speak straight with lenders and tax credit syndicators which is spectacular. Then, if there are national corporations that can support our work that can also be a huge offer. Were presently working on a partnership with Lowes, which is contributing about $1,000,000 worth of products to support our projects. Stabilizing direct exposure, standing beside us and saying “these neighborhoods are deserving of investment”– you cant put a worth on that
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How can potential partners work with you?
We are also constantly prepared to host individuals if they desire to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. We host individuals once a week at our building so they can see the innovation that were using in communities that historically havent had access. Im always challenging leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts since I believe that has genuine worth
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How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to meet the other Accelerate member companies. I found out a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and learning about individuals with absolutely various perspectives. I love the networking.
I think we are doing the finest we can do in the COVID environment. Simply knowing that it exists, which ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a big distinction.
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Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, regions you operate in, primary consumers, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies accessible for all: all communities, all families, everybody ought to have access. Someone, some entity, needs to work as the bridge so that those innovations reach everyone. Thats what my objective is, and fortunately we are growing. We are presently headquartered in Chicago, however we will be announcing some new locations this fall
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By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Photo thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the third installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series.
Each installment includes market leaders and subjects connected to accelerating an equitable and simply shift to a renewable resource economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are prospering in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and property analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his proficiency and track record of producing consistent returns with an individual enthusiasm for helping change communities and their influence on the planet. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas transition to a clean 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 two pivotal minutes that made me jump. In 1999, my mom received a $400 gas bill, and she was just making 10 bucks an hour, so we couldnt manage the gas costs. Therefore, unfortunately, we had our gas and heat turned off. For around a year in my teens, we had to boil water and bring it as much as a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were uniquely tough times, and experiences like that just stick with you. I do not care what takes place the rest of your career or what your lifestyle is moving on; those minutes are with you permanently. As I speak about that with different groups around the nation, it has ended up being clear that my experience is not an anomaly. A great deal of individuals have similar anecdotes, whichs not an advantage
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The 2nd turning point was probably 15 years back, as I was working for a firm that was buying a host of things worldwide. People were coming in to request for an investment around renewable energy, and I presented a concern to them: “What you are doing with these solar companies is magnificent, and the expense of solar is coming down, however how does that assistance everyday individuals?” I asked, “Where are they in your equation? Where is their gain access to? They are paying a disproportionate quantity of their income on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even dare inquire about the daily people. They stated, “Well, you know, low- and moderate-income families often live in multi-family structures, and it is tough to get in contact with those developing owners. If you can not get in contact with the structure owners, you have to call private families and the expense of getting those people educated and after that registering for renewable resource is not a favorable company design.” I asked, “What if I owned the housing development and the solar?” And they said, whoever does that is going to change the market permanently. So I quit my task. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I started my company. Because that is the system number in the public housing where I grew up, I named it 548 Capital. So whatever is I do is targeted to households in those circumstances and concentrated on enhancing their quality of life
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I believe there is constantly a shock when people discover who is behind our business. Even in our own communities, people just cant believe it. Putting individuals in spaces together so everyone can share notes is always important. We are also always ready to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host individuals once a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in communities that traditionally havent had access.

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