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

Share with us a current success story.
We recently signed up with Mayor Lightfoot for a press conference to reveal that we will be building a $30 million, completely sustainable and completely inexpensive advancement, in collaboration with the City of Chicago. We are developing 50 property systems, a cafe, 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 believe there is constantly a shock when people learn who is behind our company. Even in our own communities, individuals just cant think it.
The other thing that I think is essential is we have an economic effect that resonates with people, and its a quite effective message. That quantity of money impacts the spending plan of daily families
What obstacles 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 incorrect language. These neighborhoods are still being red-lined. I believe the lesson is that coalition building is essential.

By Constance ThompsonAugust 31, 2021
Picture thanks to Pat Nabong/Sun-Times
The American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is happy to share the third installation in our “Accelerating Renewables” blog series.
Each installation features market leaders and topics related to accelerating an equitable and just transition to an eco-friendly energy economy. In acknowledgment of National Black Business Month, our August functions highlight how 3 Black-owned Accelerate member companies are prospering in the renewable resource sector.
Robert “A.J.” Patton is a financing, sales, and capital markets professional with more than a years of experience in investment banking, endowment management, and genuine estate analysis. In May 2016, A.J. established 548 Capital, LLC, to integrate his competence and performance history of creating consistent returns with an individual enthusiasm for helping change neighborhoods and their effect on the planet. In 2019, Patton was called a recipient of the Energy News 40 Under 40 award– highlighting his effect on Americas shift 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 essential minutes that made me jump. In 1999, my mother got a $400 gas expense, and she was just making 10 dollars an hour, so we could not manage the gas costs. A lot of individuals have comparable anecdotes, and thats not a great thing
The 2nd critical moment was probably 15 years ago, as I was working for a firm that was investing in a host of things around the globe. Individuals were coming in to request an investment around renewable resource, and I positioned a question to them: “What you are doing with these solar firms is magnificent, and the cost of solar is boiling down, however how does that help daily individuals?” I asked, “Where are they in your formula? Where is their gain access to? They are paying an out of proportion amount of their earnings on energy.” They looked puzzled that I would even dare ask about the everyday individuals. They said, “Well, you understand, low- and moderate-income households typically 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 building owners, you need to contact specific families and the expense of getting those people educated and after that registering for renewable energy is not a beneficial company model.” I asked, “What if I owned the housing development and the solar?” And they stated, whoever does that is going to alter the marketplace forever. So I quit my job. I believe I turned in my resignation within six months of that conversation, and I began my company. Because that is the system number in the public real estate where I grew up, I called it 548 Capital. So everything is I do is targeted to households in those scenarios and concentrated on enhancing their lifestyle

I believe there is always a shock when individuals learn who is behind our company. Even in our own neighborhoods, individuals simply cant believe it. Putting individuals in rooms together so everyone can share notes is constantly important. We are also constantly prepared to host individuals if they desire to see some of the sustainable technology we are putting in these neighborhoods. We host individuals once a week at our building so they can see the technology that were applying in neighborhoods that traditionally have not had access.

So what can companies 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. Normalizing exposure, standing next to us and stating “these neighborhoods are worthwhile of investment”– you cant put a value on that
How can prospective partners work with you?
Today, we are Chicago-focused. We are constantly searching for partners to invest, use financial obligation or buy some tax credits, thats the first ask. We are likewise always going to host people if they wish to see some of the sustainable innovation we are putting in these neighborhoods. This is not exclusive; its an open book. We host individuals when a week at our building so they can see the technology that were using in neighborhoods that traditionally havent had access. We are likewise going to be expanding our board. Because I believe that has genuine value, Im always challenging leading executives to put their name and face on these efforts
How was your Accelerate subscription benefited you?
Its been excellent just to satisfy the other Accelerate member companies. I discovered a lot from having discussions with them in real-time, and discovering about people with absolutely various perspectives. I like the networking.
I think we are doing the best 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.

Tell us about your business? (mission, partners, areas you operate in, primary clients, etc.).
The vision of 548 Capital is to make sustainable technologies available for all: all communities, all households, everybody should have gain access to. Somebody, some entity, has to serve as the bridge so that those innovations reach everybody.