Renewable Power Perspectives Q&A with Robert “A.J.” Patton, CEO of 548 Capital, LLC.
What can organizations like ACORE do to move that needle for you, to break down that barrier?
Putting individuals in rooms together so everybody can share notes is constantly valuable. Normalizing exposure, standing next to us and saying “these neighborhoods are deserving of investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can possible partners work with you?
We are likewise constantly prepared to host people if they want 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 applying in neighborhoods that historically have not had gain access to. Im always difficult top executives to put their name and face on these efforts because I believe that has real worth
How was your Accelerate membership benefited you?
Its been fantastic simply 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 various point of views. I enjoy the networking.
I think we are doing the very best we can do in the COVID environment. Feeling in ones bones that it exists, and that ACORE is so deliberate about the program, makes a huge distinction.
Share with us a current success story.
We recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for an interview to announce that we will be developing a $30 million, entirely cost effective and completely sustainable advancement, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are constructing 50 domestic systems, a coffee bar, a service center, all on the South Side of Chicago, which will expand solar-powered usage in the city
What impact are you making?
I think there is always a shock when individuals discover who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals just cant believe it.
The other thing that I think is essential is we have a financial effect that resonates with people, and its a quite effective message. That quantity of cash impacts the spending plan of everyday households
What obstacles do you face? Why?
You cant skip the grind. Let me acknowledge that beginning a company, any business, was going to be tough. With that stated, access to capital is ungodly challenging. When I go to banks and say that were developing sustainable real estate in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods, they take a look at me like Ive spoken the wrong language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. Some banks dont wish to invest; they do not wish to partner; they do not wish to do their share. It is a battle of generational size that Im attempting to battle here, and weve made very little, incremental progress. I believe the lesson is that coalition structure is essential. My voice only indicates a lot, however the more I can bring good friends to the table and enhance that voice, the more we can raise attention to the requirement
By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture thanks to 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 market leaders and topics connected to accelerating a fair and simply transition to a renewable resource economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how three Black-owned Accelerate member companies are prospering in the sustainable energy sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a finance, sales, and capital markets professional with more than a years of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and property analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to combine his competence and track record of developing constant returns with an individual passion for assisting 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 influence on Americas shift to a clean economy.
CHECKED OUT 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 two essential moments that made me jump. In 1999, my mom received a $400 gas costs, and she was only making ten dollars an hour, so we could not pay for the gas bill. A lot of people have comparable anecdotes, and thats not a good thing
The 2nd essential minute was probably 15 years ago, as I was working for a company that was buying a host of things all over the world. People were can be found in to ask for an investment around eco-friendly energy, and I presented a question to them: “What you are making with these solar companies is incredible, and the cost of solar is coming down, however how does that aid everyday people?” I asked, “Where are they in your equation? Where is their gain access to? They are paying an out of proportion quantity of their earnings on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the daily people. They said, “Well, you understand, low- and moderate-income households often reside in multi-family buildings, and it is tough to get in contact with those developing owners. If you can not get in contact with the structure owners, you need to call individual families and the cost of getting those people educated and then registering for eco-friendly energy is not a favorable service model.” So, I asked, “What if I owned the housing advancement and the solar?” And they stated, whoever does that is going to change the market permanently. So I stopped my task. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that discussion, and I began my company. Since that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up, I called it 548 Capital. Whatever is I do is targeted to households in those scenarios and focused on improving their quality of life
I think there is constantly a shock when individuals learn who is behind our business. Even in our own neighborhoods, people just cant think it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everybody can share notes is constantly valuable. We are also constantly ready to host individuals if they want 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 technology that were using in communities that traditionally have not had gain access to.
Tell us about your company? (mission, partners, regions you run in, main clients, and so on).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies available for all: all communities, all households, everybody needs to have gain access to. Someone, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those technologies reach everybody. Thats what my objective is, and luckily we are growing. We are currently headquartered in Chicago, but we will be revealing some brand-new locations this fall