Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.
Show us a recent success story.
We recently joined Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to announce that we will be developing a $30 million, entirely budget friendly and totally sustainable development, in partnership with the City of Chicago. We are constructing 50 domestic systems, a cafe, an organization center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will broaden solar-powered use in the city
What impact are you making?
I believe there is always a shock when individuals learn who lags our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, people just cant believe it. To me, thats pretty satisfying. Individuals seeing whos behind 548 Capital matters.
The other thing that I think is crucial is we have an economic impact that resonates with individuals, and its a quite powerful message. Were intending to cut energy costs for households in half. Thats a big offer, you know. That quantity of money impacts the budget plan of daily households
What challenges do you face? Why?
When I go to banks and state that were building sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income communities, they look at me like Ive spoken the incorrect language. These communities are still being red-lined. I believe the lesson is that coalition 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 always valuable. Stabilizing exposure, standing next to us and saying “these neighborhoods are worthwhile of investment”– you cant put a worth on that
How can possible partners work with you?
We are also always prepared to host people if they want to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host individuals when a week at our structure so they can see the technology that were applying in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had access. Im always tough top executives to put their name and face on these efforts since I think that has genuine worth
How was your Accelerate membership benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply to satisfy the other Accelerate member companies. I found out a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and learning more about individuals with totally different point of views. I love the networking.
I believe we are doing the best we can do in the COVID environment. Simply knowing that it exists, which ACORE is so intentional about the program, makes a big difference.
I believe there is constantly a shock when people learn who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals just cant believe it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everybody can share notes is always important. We are also always ready to host individuals 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 building so they can see the innovation that were applying in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had access.
Inform us about your company? (objective, partners, areas you operate in, main consumers, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies available for all: all communities, all families, everyone ought to have gain access to. Someone, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everyone.
By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Photo courtesy of Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is pleased to share the third installment in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog site series.
Each installation includes industry leaders and topics related to speeding up a fair and just shift to an eco-friendly energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August features highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member companies are thriving in the eco-friendly energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets specialist with more than a years of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and genuine estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. founded 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his competence and performance history of developing consistent returns with a personal passion for helping transform neighborhoods and their influence on the world. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas shift 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 begin your business?
I had 2 critical minutes that made me leap. In 1999, my mom got a $400 gas costs, and she was just making ten bucks an hour, so we could not afford the gas costs. A lot of people have similar anecdotes, and thats not a good thing
The second critical minute was most likely 15 years earlier, as I was working for a firm that was buying a host of things worldwide. Individuals were being available in to ask for an investment around renewable energy, and I presented a concern to them: “What you are making with these solar firms is amazing, and the expense of solar is coming down, however how does that aid daily people?” I asked, “Where are they in your equation? Where is their gain access to? They are paying a disproportionate quantity of their income on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the everyday individuals. They said, “Well, you know, low- and moderate-income households typically reside in multi-family buildings, and it is difficult to get in contact with those building owners. If you can not get in contact with the structure owners, you have to call specific families and the expense of getting those individuals informed and after that registering for renewable resource is not a favorable organization design.” So, I asked, “What if I owned the real estate development and the solar?” And they said, whoever does that is going to change the market permanently. So I quit my job. I think I turned in my resignation within 6 months of that conversation, and I started my business. I named it 548 Capital because that is the system number in the general public housing where I matured. So whatever is I do is targeted to families in those circumstances and concentrated on improving their lifestyle