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

Show us a recent success story.
We just recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to reveal that we will be developing a $30 million, entirely budget-friendly and completely sustainable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 residential systems, a coffee bar, a business center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered usage in the city
What impact are you making?
When people discover who is behind our business, I think there is always a shock. Even in our own communities, individuals simply cant think it. To me, thats pretty gratifying. Individuals seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I think is essential is we have a financial impact that resonates with individuals, and its a quite effective message. Were aiming to cut utility expenditures for families in half. Thats a big deal, you understand. That quantity of money effects the spending plan of daily families
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
When I go to banks and say that were constructing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These communities are still being red-lined. I think the lesson is that union building is essential.

So what can companies 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. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and saying “these neighborhoods are worthwhile of investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can prospective partners do business with you?
We are also always ready to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation 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 using in neighborhoods that historically have not had gain access to. Im constantly tough top executives to put their name and face on these efforts due to the fact that I think that has real value
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to fulfill the other Accelerate member business. I found out a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and finding out about individuals with totally various viewpoints. I like the networking.
I think we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Simply understanding that it exists, which ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a big difference.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the third installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installment features industry leaders and subjects related to speeding up a fair and just shift to an eco-friendly energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member companies are prospering in the renewable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a years of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and property analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his know-how and performance history of developing consistent returns with a personal enthusiasm for assisting transform neighborhoods and their influence on the world. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his influence on Americas transition to a tidy economy.
LEARNT MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to begin your business?
I had 2 critical minutes that made me leap. In 1999, my mom got a $400 gas expense, and she was just making 10 dollars an hour, so we could not manage the gas costs. A lot of people have similar anecdotes, and thats not a good thing
They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the daily individuals. I think I turned in my resignation within six months of that discussion, and I began my company. I named it 548 Capital because that is the unit number in the public real estate where I grew up.

I think there is always a shock when individuals discover who is behind our business. Even in our own neighborhoods, people just cant think it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always valuable. We are also constantly ready to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host people as soon as a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were applying in neighborhoods that historically have not had access.

Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, areas you run in, primary clients, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations accessible for all: all communities, all families, everybody must have access. Someone, some entity, needs to serve as the bridge so that those technologies reach everybody. Thats what my mission is, and thankfully we are growing. We are currently headquartered in Chicago, but we will be announcing some new areas this fall