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

So what can companies like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always important. Through the Accelerate program, weve had a chance to speak straight with bankers and tax credit syndicators which is incredible. If there are national corporations that can support our work that can also be a big offer. Were presently working on a partnership with Lowes, which is donating about $1,000,000 worth of materials to support our jobs. Normalizing exposure, standing beside us and stating “these neighborhoods deserve financial investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can possible partners work with you?
Today, we are Chicago-focused. We are constantly looking for partners to invest, offer debt or purchase some tax credits, thats the first ask. If they desire to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities, we are also always willing to host people. This is not exclusive; its an open book. We host people as soon as a week at our building so they can see the innovation that were applying in neighborhoods that historically have not had access. We are likewise going to be expanding our board. Im always challenging leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts since I think that has real worth
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to fulfill the other Accelerate member companies. I found out a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and finding out about individuals with totally various point of views. I like the networking.
I believe we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Feeling in ones bones that it exists, which ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a huge difference.

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

I believe there is constantly a shock when individuals learn who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, individuals simply cant think it. Putting people in rooms together so everyone can share notes is constantly important. We are likewise constantly ready to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host people as soon as a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were applying in communities that traditionally havent had gain access to.

Share with us a recent success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to announce that we will be building a $30 million, totally budget-friendly and entirely sustainable advancement, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are developing 50 domestic systems, a coffeehouse, a service center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered use in the city
What effect are you making?
I think there is constantly a shock when individuals discover who lags our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, people just cant think it. To me, thats pretty rewarding. People seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is essential is we have a financial effect that resonates with people, and its a quite powerful message. That quantity of cash impacts the budget of daily families
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were constructing 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 believe the lesson is that union structure is essential.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the 3rd installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation includes market leaders and subjects connected to speeding up an equitable and just transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member companies are prospering in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets professional with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and genuine estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his competence and track record of creating constant returns with an individual enthusiasm for assisting change neighborhoods and their impact 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 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 critical minutes that made me jump. In 1999, my mom received a $400 gas expense, and she was just making 10 dollars an hour, so we could not afford the gas expense. A lot of individuals have similar anecdotes, and thats not an excellent thing
The 2nd pivotal minute was probably 15 years ago, as I was working for a company that was buying a host of things around the globe. Individuals were being available in to ask for a financial investment around sustainable energy, and I postured a question to them: “What you are doing with these solar firms is magnificent, and the cost of solar is coming down, but how does that assistance 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 income on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the daily people. They said, “Well, you know, low- and moderate-income households frequently 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 structure owners, you have to contact private households and the cost of getting those individuals educated and after that subscribing to renewable energy is not a favorable organization design.” I asked, “What if I owned the housing development and the solar?” And they said, whoever does that is going to alter the marketplace forever. I stopped my task. I believe I kipped down my resignation within 6 months of that conversation, and I began my company. Since that is the system number in the public housing where I grew up, I called it 548 Capital. Whatever is I do is targeted to families in those situations and focused on improving their quality of life