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The AEG Story

Understanding how AEG International came to be is integral to understanding who we are today.

AEG was borne out of the entrepreneurial spirit of Clifton and Clif Vann, the majority shareholders of Hyde Park Partners. Father and son - both engineers at heart - are driven to do interesting things as opposed to many business owners who simply wish to put every last nickel in the bank that’s possible.


In 2008, when we built the second building on our campus in Charlotte, they dedicated an open area in the back of the building - 8,000 square feet - to research and development efforts. Hyde Park and Livingston & Haven are predominantly wholesale distributors; while the companies add a lot of value, we sell other people’s products to our customers around the Southeastern United States and now around the world through MRO Stop. The Vanns wanted Hyde Park to also sell proprietary products, so they pulled a handful of talented engineers already employed by the company out of their sales roles and out of the field and asked them to go to the drawing board to come up with some innovative products to solve some of the day’s most pressing problems. Over the course of several years, these engineers came up with off grid solar and portable water filtration products, which eventually became our Firefly Solar Home System and Oasis Water Filtration System products respectively. 


The development of Firefly and Oasis led us to ask what markets these products would be most suitable for and who would be the right people to bring us into these markets. Through a series of introductions, we met a gentleman from Tanzania who lived in Charlotte and worked at the bank uptown but who would use his time off to go back to Tanzania and try to help his fellow countrymen with needs for power, clean water, and the like. Around the same time, we met a gentleman from Congo who also lived in Charlotte and had the same sort of desire to improve the lives of fellow countrymen back in the DRC. 


So, we took a leap of faith and founded American Engineering Group Ltd., based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and later established AEG DRC (formerly known as AEG Congo), in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo. John Mashaka and Paul Mateta, the two men mentioned above, now run these two companies for us. After forming Tanzanian and Congolese subsidiaries, we formed a US-based North Carolina company called AEG International LLC - which falls under the Hyde Park Partners umbrella - to oversee and guide the work being performed abroad, develop a U.S. customer base, and more. We started with off grid solar projects and off grid water purification, and through experience, expanded to mini grids, microgrids, as well as solar street lights. In Tanzania, we sell some of the industrial products that L&H sells to industrial clients.


In the United States, solar providers are commonplace. As such, AEG focuses on new solutions using DC (direct current) renewable sources that are tied directly to DC loads such as LED lighting, DC HVAC systems, and DC appliances. Using a DC microgrid allows a homeowner or business to operate “behind the meter” producing and consuming their own power without inverting it and placing it back on the electrical grid as is the usual technology with solar or battery deployed in the US.


Over the years, we’ve kept the mantra “do well while doing good”, which to us means positively impacting the lives of those we are fortunate enough to serve while still being financially successful.

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