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 spaces together so everybody can share notes is always important. Through the Accelerate program, weve had a possibility to speak directly with lenders and tax credit syndicators which is amazing. Then, if there are national corporations that can support our work that can likewise be a big deal. Were presently dealing with a collaboration with Lowes, which is donating about $1,000,000 worth of materials to support our tasks. Normalizing direct exposure, standing beside us and saying “these communities deserve investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can possible partners do organization with you?
Today, we are Chicago-focused. We are always looking for partners to invest, offer financial obligation or purchase some tax credits, thats the very first ask. If they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities, we are also constantly prepared to host people. This is not exclusive; its an open book. We host individuals when a week at our building so they can see the innovation that were applying in communities that historically havent had access. We are likewise going to be broadening our board. Im always tough magnates to put their name and face on these efforts due to the fact that I think that has genuine worth
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been great just 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 point of views. I enjoy the networking.
I think we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Simply understanding that it exists, which ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a huge difference.

I believe there is constantly a shock when individuals discover who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, individuals simply cant think it. Putting individuals in spaces together so everyone can share notes is constantly important. We are also constantly prepared to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host people when a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in communities that historically have not had gain access to.

Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, areas you run in, primary consumers, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies accessible for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everyone should 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 delighted to share the 3rd installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation features market leaders and topics related to accelerating a fair and just transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are prospering in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, 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. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his competence and performance history of developing consistent returns with a personal enthusiasm for helping change communities and their effect on the planet. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his influence 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 start your company?
I had 2 critical moments that made me jump. In 1999, my mother got a $400 gas expense, and she was just making ten bucks an hour, so we could not afford the gas bill. A lot of individuals have similar anecdotes, and thats not an excellent thing
The second turning point was probably 15 years back, as I was working for a firm that was buying a host of things around the world. People were coming in to ask for an investment around renewable resource, and I posed a concern to them: “What you are finishing with these solar companies is magnificent, and the expense of solar is coming down, but how does that help daily people?” I asked, “Where are they in your formula? Where is their gain access to? They are paying an out of proportion 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 families often live in multi-family structures, and it is hard to get in contact with those developing owners. If you can not get in contact with the building owners, you need to call specific households and the expense of getting those individuals educated and then subscribing to sustainable energy is not a favorable service design.” I asked, “What if I owned the real estate advancement and the solar?” And they stated, whoever does that is going to alter the marketplace forever. So I stopped my task. I think I turned in my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I began my business. I called it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the general public housing where I matured. So everything is I do is targeted to households in those scenarios and concentrated on improving their lifestyle

Share with us a current success story.
We just recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to reveal that we will be developing a $30 million, entirely budget-friendly and totally sustainable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 property units, a coffee bar, a business center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
When individuals discover who is behind our company, I believe there is constantly a shock. Even in our own communities, people just cant think it. To me, thats pretty rewarding. People seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is necessary is we have a financial effect that resonates with individuals, and its a quite effective message. Were intending to cut utility expenses for households in half. Thats a big deal, you understand. That quantity of money effects the budget of daily households
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were developing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income communities, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I think the lesson is that union building is important.