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

I think there is always a shock when people discover who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals just cant think it. Putting people in rooms together so everyone can share notes is always valuable. We are likewise constantly ready to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host individuals when a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using 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 an interview to reveal that we will be building a $30 million, entirely cost effective and completely sustainable advancement, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 property systems, a coffee store, an organization center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
I believe there is always a shock when individuals discover who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals just cant think it.
The other thing that I think is crucial is we have an economic impact that resonates with individuals, and its a pretty powerful message. That quantity of money effects the budget of daily households
What challenges do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and say that were building 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 believe the lesson is that union building is essential.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Photo courtesy of Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the 3rd installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installment features market leaders and subjects connected to accelerating a fair and just shift to a renewable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are growing in the sustainable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets professional with more than a decade of experience in financial investment banking, endowment management, and realty analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his competence and performance history of developing constant returns with an individual passion for assisting transform neighborhoods and their effect on the planet. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his influence on Americas shift to a clean economy.
LEARNT MORE: Up-and-Comer Developer Makes Headway without the Banks ( Chicago Sun-Times, August 27, 2021).
What inspired you to begin your company?
I had 2 pivotal minutes that made me leap. In 1999, my mom got a $400 gas expense, and she was just making ten bucks an hour, so we could not manage the gas expense. A lot of individuals have similar anecdotes, and thats not a great thing
They looked confused that I would even attempt ask about the everyday people. I think I turned in my resignation within 6 months of that discussion, and I began my company. I called it 548 Capital since that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up.

What can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in rooms together so everybody can share notes is constantly valuable. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and stating “these communities are worthy of financial investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can prospective partners do company 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 people when a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in communities that traditionally have not had access. Im constantly difficult top executives to put their name and face on these efforts since I believe that has genuine value
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been fantastic just to fulfill the other Accelerate member business. I found out a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and learning more about individuals with totally various point of views. I like the networking.
I think we are doing the 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 distinction.

Tell us about your company? (mission, partners, regions you operate in, main clients, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies available for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everybody should have access. Somebody, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those technologies reach everybody.