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

I believe there is always a shock when people discover who is behind our business. Even in our own communities, individuals just cant think it. Putting people in rooms together so everyone can share notes is constantly important. 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 individuals when a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were using in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had access.

Share with us a current success story.
We recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to announce that we will be developing a $30 million, entirely affordable and totally sustainable advancement, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are developing 50 domestic units, a coffee store, an organization center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered use in the city
What effect are you making?
I believe there is constantly a shock when individuals discover who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, people simply cant believe it. To me, thats quite fulfilling. Individuals seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I think is essential is we have an economic effect that resonates with individuals, and its a pretty powerful message. Were intending to cut energy expenses for families in half. Thats a huge offer, you understand. That quantity of money effects the spending plan of daily families
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 communities are still being red-lined. I think the lesson is that union building is essential.

What can companies like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in rooms together so everyone can share notes is constantly valuable. Through the Accelerate program, weve had a possibility to speak straight with bankers and tax credit syndicators which is amazing. Then, if there are nationwide corporations that can support our work that can likewise be a huge deal. Were presently working on a collaboration with Lowes, which is contributing about $1,000,000 worth of materials to support our projects. Normalizing exposure, standing beside us and saying “these neighborhoods deserve financial investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can potential partners work with you?
We are likewise constantly prepared to host people if they desire to see some of the sustainable technology 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 traditionally have not had access. Im constantly difficult leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts due to the fact that I think that has genuine value
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been fantastic just to fulfill the other Accelerate member companies. I learned a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and learning more about people with absolutely different viewpoints. I love the networking.
I believe we are doing the finest we can do in the COVID environment. Feeling in ones bones that it exists, which ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a huge distinction.

Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, regions you operate in, main clients, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies accessible for all: all communities, all families, everyone needs to have access. Someone, some entity, needs to serve as the bridge so that those technologies reach everyone. Thats what my mission is, and fortunately we are growing. We are currently headquartered in Chicago, however we will be revealing some brand-new places this fall

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Photo thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the 3rd installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installment features industry leaders and topics related to accelerating an equitable and simply shift to a sustainable energy economy. In recognition of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member business are growing in the renewable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets professional with more than a years 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 a personal passion for helping change neighborhoods and their impact on the planet. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his impact on Americas transition to a tidy economy.
LEARNT 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 turning points that made me jump. In 1999, my mother got a $400 gas bill, and she was just making ten bucks an hour, so we could not pay for the gas expense. And so, regrettably, we had our gas and heat shut down. For roughly a year in my teenagers, we needed to boil water and bring it up to a porcelain tub to take a bath. Those were distinctively bumpy rides, and experiences like that simply stick to you. I dont care what happens the rest of your career or what your lifestyle is moving on; those minutes are with you permanently. As I speak about that with various groups around the country, it has ended up being clear that my experience is not an anomaly. A lot of individuals have comparable anecdotes, and thats not an advantage
They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the everyday people. I think I turned in my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I started my company. I called it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the public housing where I grew up.