Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.
I think there is always a shock when people discover who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, people simply cant think it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everybody can share notes is constantly important. We are likewise constantly willing to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. We host people as soon as a week at our building so they can see the technology that were applying in communities that traditionally havent had access.
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 constantly important. Stabilizing direct exposure, standing next to us and saying “these communities are deserving of investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can possible partners do business with you?
Today, we are Chicago-focused. We are always searching for partners to invest, use financial obligation or purchase some tax credits, thats the first ask. If they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods, we are also constantly ready to host individuals. This is not exclusive; its an open book. We host people when a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were using in neighborhoods that traditionally have not had gain access to. We are likewise going to be broadening our board. Im constantly tough magnates 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 great just to fulfill the other Accelerate member companies. I discovered a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and learning more about people with totally different viewpoints. I enjoy the networking.
I think we are doing the finest we can do in the COVID environment. Simply understanding that it exists, and that ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a big difference.
Share with us a current success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to reveal that we will be building a $30 million, totally economical and entirely sustainable development, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 domestic systems, a coffee shop, a company center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered usage in the city
What impact are you making?
I think there is constantly a shock when individuals learn who is behind our business. Even in our own neighborhoods, people simply cant think it. To me, thats quite rewarding. Individuals seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I think is necessary is we have a financial effect that resonates with people, and its a quite powerful message. Were intending to cut energy expenses for households in half. Thats a big deal, you understand. That quantity of money effects the budget plan of daily families
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
When I go to banks and say that were developing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they look at me like Ive spoken the wrong language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I think the lesson is that coalition building is crucial.
Tell us about your business? (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 neighborhoods, all families, everyone should have gain access to. Someone, some entity, has to act as the bridge so that those innovations reach everybody. Thats what my mission is, and fortunately we are growing. We are currently headquartered in Chicago, however we will be revealing some brand-new areas this fall
By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Image thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the 3rd installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation includes market leaders and topics connected to speeding up an equitable and just shift to a renewable energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member companies are flourishing in the sustainable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a years of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and property analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his competence and track record of developing constant returns with an individual passion for helping transform neighborhoods and their effect on the planet. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect 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 begin your company?
I had two pivotal moments that made me leap. In 1999, my mother received a $400 gas costs, and she was just making ten bucks an hour, so we couldnt pay for the gas expense. And so, unfortunately, we had our gas and heat shut off. For approximately a year in my teenagers, we needed to boil water and carry it approximately a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were distinctively difficult times, and experiences like that simply stick with you. I dont care what takes place the rest of your career or what your quality of life is progressing; those moments are with you forever. As I discuss that with different groups around the country, it has ended up being clear that my experience is not an abnormality. A great deal of people have comparable anecdotes, and thats not a great thing
The 2nd essential moment was most likely 15 years ago, as I was working for a company that was buying a host of things all over the world. Individuals were being available in to ask for an investment around renewable energy, and I positioned a concern to them: “What you are doing with these solar firms is incredible, and the expense of solar is coming down, but how does that help daily individuals?” I asked, “Where are they in your equation? Where is their gain access to? They are paying an out of proportion quantity of their earnings on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even attempt ask about the everyday people. They said, “Well, you understand, low- and moderate-income families frequently 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 structure owners, you need to call private households and the cost of getting those individuals informed and then registering for renewable resource is not a favorable service design.” I asked, “What if I owned the real estate advancement and the solar?” And they stated, whoever does that is going to change the market permanently. So I stopped my task. I think I kipped down my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I started my business. Since that is the unit number in the public real estate where I grew up, I called it 548 Capital. So whatever is I do is targeted to households in those circumstances and concentrated on enhancing their lifestyle