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

So what can companies like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting people in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always valuable. Stabilizing direct exposure, standing next to us and stating “these neighborhoods are worthy of financial investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can prospective partners do service with you?
Today, we are Chicago-focused. We are always searching for partners to invest, use financial obligation or buy some tax credits, thats the very first ask. We are also always going to host people if they wish to see a few of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. This is not proprietary; its an open book. We host individuals once a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had gain access to. We are also going to be broadening our board. Because I believe that has real worth, Im constantly difficult leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been terrific simply to satisfy the other Accelerate member companies. I discovered a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and finding out about people with totally different viewpoints. I like the networking.
I think we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Feeling in ones bones that it exists, and that ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a huge difference.

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

Show us a recent success story.
We just recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to announce that we will be constructing a $30 million, entirely sustainable and entirely inexpensive advancement, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are developing 50 domestic systems, a coffee store, a business center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered usage in the city
What impact are you making?
I believe there is always a shock when individuals learn who is behind our business. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals simply cant believe it.
The other thing that I believe is very important is we have a financial impact that resonates with people, and its a pretty powerful message. Were intending to cut energy expenditures for households in half. Thats a huge deal, you understand. That amount of money impacts the budget of everyday families
What challenges do you face? Why?
You cant skip the grind. Let me acknowledge that beginning a company, any service, was going to be difficult. With that said, access to capital is ungodly hard. When I go to banks and say that were building sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they take a look at me like Ive spoken the wrong language. These communities are still being red-lined. Some banks dont desire to invest; they dont want to partner; they do not want to do their share. It is a battle of generational size that Im attempting to eliminate here, and weve made very little, incremental development. I believe the lesson is that union structure is necessary. My voice only implies a lot, however the more I can bring friends to the table and enhance that voice, the more we can raise attention to the requirement

Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, regions you run in, main consumers, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies accessible for all: all communities, all households, everybody ought to have access. Someone, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everyone.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Image courtesy of Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the third installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installment features market leaders and subjects related to accelerating an equitable and simply shift to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are thriving in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets expert with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and genuine estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his expertise and performance history of developing consistent returns with a personal enthusiasm for helping change communities and their impact 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 clean economy.
FOUND OUT 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 two essential minutes that made me jump. In 1999, my mother got a $400 gas bill, and she was only making 10 bucks an hour, so we could not afford the gas expense. A lot of people have comparable anecdotes, and thats not an excellent thing
They looked puzzled that I would even attempt ask about the everyday individuals. I believe I turned in my resignation within 6 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.