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

Inform us about your business? (mission, partners, regions you operate in, main clients, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies accessible for all: all neighborhoods, all households, everyone must 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 business. Even in our own communities, individuals simply cant think it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everyone can share notes is constantly important. We are likewise constantly willing to host individuals if they desire to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host people as soon as a week at our building so they can see the innovation that were applying in communities that historically havent had access.

So what can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in spaces together so everyone can share notes is constantly valuable. Through the Accelerate program, weve had a chance to speak directly with lenders and tax credit syndicators which is spectacular. If there are national corporations that can support our work that can likewise be a big offer. Were currently dealing with a partnership with Lowes, which is contributing about $1,000,000 worth of materials to support our tasks. Normalizing exposure, standing beside us and saying “these communities are deserving of financial investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can potential partners do company with you?
Now, we are Chicago-focused. We are always searching for partners to invest, provide financial obligation or purchase some tax credits, thats the first ask. We are also constantly prepared to host individuals if they desire to see a few of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods. This is not proprietary; its an open book. We host people once a week at our building so they can see the technology that were applying in communities that historically havent had gain access to. We are likewise going to be broadening our board. Im constantly difficult magnates to put their name and face on these efforts since I believe that has real worth
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been great simply to fulfill the other Accelerate member business. I found out a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and learning more about people with completely different point of views. I enjoy the networking.
I think we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Feeling in ones bones that it exists, which ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a huge difference.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture 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 series.
Each installation includes industry leaders and topics associated with speeding up a fair and simply 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 growing in the eco-friendly energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a years of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and realty analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his expertise and performance history of creating constant returns with an individual passion for assisting transform communities and their effect on the world. 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.
LEARNT 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 two essential minutes that made me jump. In 1999, my mother got a $400 gas bill, and she was just making 10 bucks an hour, so we could not pay for the gas expense. A lot of individuals have comparable anecdotes, and thats not a great thing
They looked confused that I would even dare ask about the everyday people. I think I turned in my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I started my business. I called it 548 Capital since that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up.

Share with us a current success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to announce that we will be constructing a $30 million, completely economical and entirely sustainable development, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are constructing 50 residential systems, a coffee store, a service center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered usage in the city
What impact are you making?
I think there is constantly a shock when people learn who is behind our business. Even in our own neighborhoods, people simply cant believe it.
The other thing that I think is crucial is we have an economic effect that resonates with people, and its a pretty effective message. That quantity of cash effects the spending plan of everyday families
What challenges do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and say that were developing sustainable housing 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.