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

I believe there is constantly a shock when people learn who is behind our business. Even in our own communities, individuals just cant think it. Putting people in spaces together so everyone can share notes is always important. We are likewise constantly prepared to host people if they desire to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host individuals as soon as a week at our building so they can see the innovation that were using in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had access.

Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, areas you run in, main consumers, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations available for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everyone needs to have gain access to. Somebody, some entity, has to function as the bridge so that those technologies reach everyone. Thats what my objective is, and fortunately we are growing. We are presently headquartered in Chicago, but we will be revealing some brand-new places this fall

So what can companies like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in spaces together so everybody can share notes is always important. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and stating “these communities are worthy of investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can prospective partners work with you?
We are likewise constantly ready to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these communities. We host individuals as soon as a week at our building so they can see the innovation that were using in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had access. Im constantly difficult top executives to put their name and face on these efforts because I think that has genuine value
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been fantastic just to satisfy the other Accelerate member business. I found out a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and discovering about people with completely different perspectives. I enjoy the networking.
I think we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Just knowing that it exists, and that ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a big difference.

Show us a recent success story.
We recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to announce that we will be building a $30 million, entirely sustainable and totally inexpensive development, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 domestic units, a coffeehouse, a company center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
I believe there is constantly a shock when people discover who lags our company. Even in our own communities, individuals simply cant think it. To me, thats quite rewarding. Individuals seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is essential is we have an economic impact that resonates with people, and its a pretty powerful message. That amount of money effects the spending plan of daily families
What obstacles do you deal with? Why?
When I go to banks and say that were developing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I believe the lesson is that coalition building is crucial.

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 installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series.
Each installment includes market leaders and topics associated with accelerating an equitable and simply transition to a renewable resource economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member business are growing in the eco-friendly energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets expert with more than a years of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and realty analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his knowledge and track record of developing consistent returns with a personal enthusiasm for helping transform communities and their influence on the planet. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his impact on Americas shift to a tidy 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 business?
I had two essential moments that made me leap. In 1999, my mom received a $400 gas costs, and she was only making ten bucks an hour, so we couldnt pay for the gas bill. And so, regrettably, we had our gas and heat turned off. For around a year in my teens, we had to boil water and carry it up to a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were distinctively bumpy rides, and experiences like that just stick with you. I do not care what takes place the rest of your career or what your quality of life is moving on; those moments are with you forever. As I discuss that with different groups around the nation, it has actually ended up being clear that my experience is not an anomaly. A great deal of people have comparable anecdotes, whichs not a good thing
The second turning point was most likely 15 years back, as I was working for a company that was purchasing a host of things worldwide. Individuals were coming in to request a financial investment around renewable energy, and I positioned a concern to them: “What you are finishing with these solar firms is incredible, and the cost of solar is coming down, but how does that help daily people?” I asked, “Where are they in your formula? Where is their access? They are paying a disproportionate amount of their income on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the daily individuals. They said, “Well, you understand, low- and moderate-income households typically live in multi-family buildings, and it is tough to get in contact with those building owners. If you can not get in contact with the building owners, you have to contact private families and the expense of getting those people educated and after that signing up for eco-friendly energy is not a favorable business design.” So, I asked, “What if I owned the housing development and the solar?” And they said, whoever does that is going to change the market forever. So I quit my job. I think I kipped down my resignation within 6 months of that discussion, and I started my business. Because that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up, I called it 548 Capital. So everything is I do is targeted to families in those scenarios and concentrated on enhancing their lifestyle