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

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 always valuable. Through the Accelerate program, weve had a possibility to speak directly with bankers 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 working on a collaboration with Lowes, which is donating about $1,000,000 worth of materials to support our tasks. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and stating “these communities are worthwhile of investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can possible partners work with you?
We are also always prepared to host people if they desire to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host individuals as soon as a week at our building so they can see the technology that were using in communities that traditionally havent had access. Im constantly difficult leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts because I think that has real worth
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to meet the other Accelerate member business. I learned a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and discovering about people with completely various perspectives. I love the networking.
I think we are doing the finest we can do in the COVID environment. Simply knowing that it exists, which ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a huge distinction.

I think there is constantly a shock when individuals discover who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals simply cant believe it. Putting people in spaces together so everyone can share notes is always valuable. We are likewise always prepared 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 building so they can see the innovation that were applying in neighborhoods that traditionally have not had access.

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 installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installment includes industry leaders and subjects connected to accelerating an equitable and just shift to a sustainable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member companies are flourishing in the sustainable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and realty analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his know-how and track record of developing constant returns with a personal enthusiasm for assisting change neighborhoods and their influence on the world. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas transition to a clean economy.
FOUND 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 two turning points that made me leap. In 1999, my mom received a $400 gas costs, and she was only making 10 dollars an hour, so we could not manage the gas expense. And so, sadly, we had our gas and heat shut down. For roughly a year in my teenagers, we needed to boil water and bring it up to a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were distinctively difficult times, and experiences like that just stick to you. I dont care what takes place the rest of your career or what your quality of life is moving on; those minutes are with you permanently. As I talk about that with different groups around the nation, it has actually become clear that my experience is not an abnormality. A lot of individuals have similar anecdotes, and thats not a good idea
They looked puzzled that I would even attempt ask about the daily individuals. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I started my company. I called it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up.

Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, areas you run in, main clients, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations available for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everyone must have access. Somebody, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everybody.

Show us a recent success story.
We just recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to announce that we will be developing a $30 million, entirely economical and totally sustainable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are constructing 50 domestic systems, a coffee shop, a business 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 constantly a shock when people discover who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, people simply cant believe it. To me, thats pretty satisfying. Individuals seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I think is essential is we have an economic effect that resonates with people, and its a quite effective message. Were aiming to cut utility expenses for families in half. Thats a big offer, you know. That amount of money impacts the budget plan of everyday families
What difficulties do you deal with? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were building 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 essential.