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 announce that we will be developing a $30 million, totally inexpensive and entirely sustainable development, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are developing 50 residential systems, a coffeehouse, an organization center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered usage in the city
What effect are you making?
When individuals discover who is behind our company, I think there is always a shock. Even in our own neighborhoods, people just cant believe it. To me, thats quite satisfying. Individuals seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I think is very important is we have a financial impact that resonates with individuals, and its a pretty powerful message. Were aiming to cut energy expenditures for households in half. Thats a big offer, you understand. That quantity of money effects the budget of daily households
What challenges do you deal with? Why?
You cant skip the grind. Let me acknowledge that starting an organization, any service, was going to be challenging. With that said, access to capital is ungodly hard. When I go to banks and state that were constructing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they take a look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These communities are still being red-lined. Some banks do not want to invest; they dont wish to partner; they dont wish to do their share. It is a battle of generational size that Im trying to eliminate here, and weve made extremely little, incremental progress. I believe the lesson is that union structure is very important. My voice just means so much, but the more I can bring friends to the table and amplify that voice, the more we can raise attention to the requirement

Inform us about your company? (mission, partners, regions you run in, main customers, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies available for all: all communities, all families, everybody should have gain access to. Someone, some entity, has to function as the bridge so that those innovations reach everyone. Thats what my objective is, and luckily we are growing. We are currently headquartered in Chicago, but we will be announcing some brand-new places this fall

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

So what can organizations 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 valuable. Through the Accelerate program, weve had an opportunity to speak straight with bankers and tax credit syndicators which is spectacular. If there are nationwide corporations that can support our work that can likewise be a huge deal. Were currently working on a collaboration with Lowes, which is contributing about $1,000,000 worth of products to support our projects. Normalizing direct exposure, standing next to us and stating “these communities deserve investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can potential partners work with you?
We are also always 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 communities that traditionally havent had gain access to. Im constantly tough leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts because I believe that has genuine worth
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been great just to satisfy the other Accelerate member business. I discovered a lot from having conversations with them in real-time, and learning about individuals with totally different perspectives. I like the networking.
I believe we are doing the best we can do in the COVID environment. Simply knowing that it exists, and that ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a huge distinction.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is delighted to share the third installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation includes industry leaders and topics associated with speeding up an equitable and just transition to a renewable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are prospering in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets expert 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 knowledge and performance history of producing constant returns with a personal enthusiasm 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 impact on Americas shift to a tidy economy.
READ 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 2 turning points that made me leap. In 1999, my mom received a $400 gas costs, and she was only making 10 bucks an hour, so we could not pay for the gas costs. And so, sadly, we had our gas and heat shut off. For approximately a year in my teenagers, we had to boil water and bring it approximately a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were distinctively bumpy rides, and experiences like that just stick to you. I do not care what takes place the rest of your profession or what your quality of life is moving on; those moments are with you permanently. As I speak about that with different groups around the country, it has actually ended up being clear that my experience is not an anomaly. A great deal of individuals have comparable anecdotes, and thats not an advantage
They looked confused that I would even attempt ask about the daily individuals. I think I turned in my resignation within 6 months of that discussion, and I started my company. I named it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up.