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

Tell us about your company? (objective, partners, areas you run in, main customers, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies available for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everybody should have gain access to. Someone, some entity, has to function as the bridge so that those technologies reach everybody. 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
.

Show us a current success story.
We just recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to announce that we will be building a $30 million, totally sustainable and completely budget-friendly advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are building 50 residential units, a coffeehouse, a business center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand 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 company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals just cant think it. To me, thats pretty gratifying. People seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I believe is crucial is we have a financial effect that resonates with people, and its a quite powerful message. That amount of cash impacts the budget of everyday families
.
What obstacles do you deal with? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were developing sustainable housing in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These communities are still being red-lined. I think the lesson is that coalition building is important.

What can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting people in rooms together so everybody can share notes is always important. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and saying “these communities are worthy of investment”– you cant put a value on that
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How can possible partners do company with you?
We are likewise constantly ready to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host people once a week at our structure so they can see the innovation that were applying in neighborhoods that historically have not had gain access to. Im always difficult leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts because I think that has real value
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How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been excellent simply to satisfy the other Accelerate member business. I learned a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and discovering people with absolutely different perspectives. I like the networking.
I believe we are doing the finest 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 big distinction.
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By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture courtesy of Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the third installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation includes market leaders and subjects connected to accelerating a fair and just shift to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member business are flourishing in the renewable resource 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 genuine estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his expertise and track record of developing consistent returns with a personal passion for helping change communities and their effect on the world. In 2019, Patton was named a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his impact on Americas shift to a tidy economy.
CHECKED 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 pivotal moments that made me leap. In 1999, my mom got a $400 gas expense, and she was only making ten bucks an hour, so we could not afford the gas expense. A lot of people have comparable anecdotes, and thats not a good thing
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The 2nd essential minute was probably 15 years earlier, as I was working for a firm that was buying a host of things worldwide. Individuals were coming in to request an investment around renewable resource, and I positioned a question to them: “What you are doing with these solar firms is amazing, and the expense of solar is boiling down, however how does that aid everyday people?” I asked, “Where are they in your equation? Where is their access? They are paying an out of proportion quantity of their earnings on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even attempt inquire about the everyday individuals. They stated, “Well, you understand, low- and moderate-income households frequently reside in multi-family structures, and it is difficult to get in contact with those constructing owners. If you can not get in contact with the building owners, you have to call individual households and the expense of getting those people educated and then signing up for sustainable energy is not a beneficial organization model.” I asked, “What if I owned the real estate development and the solar?” And they stated, whoever does that is going to change the marketplace forever. I quit my job. I believe I kipped down my resignation within 6 months of that conversation, and I started my company. I named it 548 Capital since that is the system number in the public housing where I matured. So whatever is I do is targeted to households in those scenarios and concentrated on improving their lifestyle
.

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

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