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

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

Share with us a current success story.
We just recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to reveal that we will be constructing a $30 million, completely budget-friendly and entirely sustainable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 domestic systems, a cafe, a service center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered usage in the city
What effect are you making?
I think there is always a shock when people learn who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, people just cant think it.
The other thing that I think is crucial is we have a financial impact that resonates with individuals, and its a quite effective message. That amount of money impacts the spending plan of daily families
What difficulties do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and say that were developing 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 think the lesson is that union structure is essential.

Inform us about your company? (mission, partners, areas you run in, main clients, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies accessible for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everyone ought to have gain access to. Someone, some entity, has to function as the bridge so that those innovations reach everyone. Thats what my mission is, and thankfully we are growing. We are presently headquartered in Chicago, however we will be announcing some brand-new areas this fall

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Image courtesy of Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the 3rd installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation includes industry leaders and topics related to speeding up an equitable and simply transition to a renewable resource economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member business are prospering in the eco-friendly energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets expert with more than a years of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and real estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his proficiency and track record of developing constant returns with an individual passion for helping transform neighborhoods and their influence on the planet. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas shift to a clean economy.
CHECKED 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 2 pivotal minutes that made me leap. In 1999, my mom received a $400 gas expense, and she was only making ten dollars an hour, so we couldnt afford the gas bill. A lot of individuals have similar anecdotes, and thats not a great thing
They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the everyday people. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that discussion, and I began my company. I called it 548 Capital because that is the unit number in the public housing where I grew up.

So what can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting people in spaces together so everybody can share notes is always valuable. Stabilizing exposure, standing next to us and stating “these communities are worthy of financial investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can potential partners do company with you?
We are also always willing to host people if they desire to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. We host individuals as soon as a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in communities that traditionally havent had gain access to. 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 membership benefited you?
Its been terrific just to fulfill the other Accelerate member business. I discovered a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and finding out about individuals with absolutely various viewpoints. I like the networking.
I believe we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Just knowing that it exists, and that ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a huge difference.