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

Show us a recent success story.
We recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to reveal that we will be developing a $30 million, completely budget friendly and entirely sustainable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are constructing 50 property systems, a coffee bar, a company center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
I think there is constantly a shock when people discover who is behind our business. Even in our own communities, people just cant think it.
The other thing that I think is necessary is we have a financial impact that resonates with individuals, and its a quite powerful message. Were intending to cut utility expenses for households in half. Thats a big offer, you understand. That amount of cash impacts the budget plan of everyday families
What difficulties do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were building sustainable housing in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they look at me like Ive spoken the wrong language. These communities are still being red-lined. I believe the lesson is that union building is important.

So what can organizations 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 constantly valuable. Through the Accelerate program, weve had an opportunity to speak straight with lenders and tax credit syndicators which is spectacular. Then, if there are nationwide corporations that can support our work that can likewise be a huge offer. Were currently dealing with a partnership with Lowes, which is contributing about $1,000,000 worth of products to support our projects. Stabilizing direct exposure, standing beside us and stating “these neighborhoods deserve investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can prospective partners do company with you?
Now, we are Chicago-focused. We are always searching 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 technology we are putting in these neighborhoods, we are likewise always willing to host people. This is not proprietary; its an open book. We host people once a week at our building so they can see the technology that were using in communities that historically havent had gain access to. We are likewise going to be expanding our board. Im always challenging magnates to put their name and face on these efforts because I think that has real worth
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been terrific just to fulfill the other Accelerate member companies. I discovered a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and discovering about individuals with absolutely various perspectives. I enjoy the networking.
I think we are doing the best we can do in the COVID environment. Simply understanding that it exists, and that ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a huge distinction.

Tell us about your business? (mission, partners, areas you run in, main clients, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable innovations available for all: all neighborhoods, all families, everyone needs to have gain access to. Someone, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those technologies reach everyone.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Photo courtesy of Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the third installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation includes market leaders and topics associated with speeding up an equitable and just transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member business are prospering 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 property analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his proficiency and track record of developing constant returns with an individual passion for helping transform neighborhoods and their effect on the world. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas transition 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 start your business?
I had 2 pivotal moments that made me leap. In 1999, my mother got a $400 gas expense, and she was only making 10 dollars an hour, so we couldnt afford the gas costs. A lot of people have similar 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 conversation, and I started my company. I named it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the public housing where I grew up.

I believe there is always a shock when individuals discover who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals simply cant believe it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everybody can share notes is always valuable. We are likewise always willing to host individuals if they want to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these communities. We host people when a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were applying in communities that historically have not had access.