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 business. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals simply cant think it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always important. We are likewise constantly willing to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host people when a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were applying in neighborhoods that historically have not had gain access to.

Inform us about your company? (mission, partners, regions you operate in, primary consumers, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies available for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everyone must have gain access to. Somebody, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everyone.

So what can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting people in spaces together so everyone can share notes is always valuable. Through the Accelerate program, weve had an opportunity to speak directly with bankers and tax credit syndicators which is spectacular. Then, if there are national corporations that can support our work that can likewise be a big deal. Were currently dealing with a collaboration with Lowes, which is contributing about $1,000,000 worth of products to support our tasks. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and stating “these neighborhoods are worthy of financial investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can possible partners work with you?
Right now, we are Chicago-focused. We are constantly searching 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 neighborhoods, we are also constantly ready 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 innovation that were applying in communities that traditionally have not had access. We are likewise going to be broadening our board. Im constantly difficult magnates to put their name and face on these efforts since I think that has genuine worth
How was your Accelerate membership benefited you?
Its been great just to meet the other Accelerate member companies. I discovered a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and discovering individuals with completely different point of views. I enjoy the networking.
I believe we are doing the best we can do in the COVID environment. Simply understanding that it exists, and that ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a big distinction.

Share with us a recent success story.
We just recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to announce that we will be constructing a $30 million, totally inexpensive and totally sustainable development, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 domestic systems, a coffee shop, a business center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered usage in the city
What impact are you making?
I believe there is constantly a shock when people learn who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, people simply cant think it.
The other thing that I think is necessary is we have a financial effect that resonates with individuals, and its a quite powerful message. Were aiming to cut energy expenditures for families in half. Thats a big offer, you understand. That quantity of cash effects the spending plan of daily families
What obstacles do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were constructing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income communities, they look at me like Ive spoken the wrong language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I believe the lesson is that union building is important.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Image courtesy of 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 installation includes market leaders and topics related to speeding up a fair and simply shift to an eco-friendly energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member companies are flourishing in the sustainable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a years of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and real estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his knowledge and track record of producing constant returns with an individual enthusiasm for assisting transform neighborhoods and their influence on the planet. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his impact on Americas shift to a tidy economy.
READ MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to start your business?
I had 2 turning points that made me leap. In 1999, my mother got a $400 gas bill, and she was just making ten bucks an hour, so we could not manage the gas costs. Therefore, sadly, we had our gas and heat turned off. For around a year in my teenagers, we needed to boil water and carry it as much as a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were distinctively bumpy rides, and experiences like that simply stick with you. I dont care what occurs the rest of your profession or what your lifestyle is moving forward; those minutes are with you permanently. As I speak about that with various groups around the country, it has ended up being clear that my experience is not an abnormality. A lot of individuals have comparable anecdotes, whichs not a good thing
They looked confused that I would even dare ask about the daily individuals. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that discussion, and I started my company. I named it 548 Capital since that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up.