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American tech giant Microsoft Corporation has made a second investment in Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECs) related to a solar photovoltaic project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since 2020, the P-RECs have enabled a new stream of private sector capital to support new clean energy projects in the DRC and South Sudan.
P-RECs are designated international renewable energy certificates (I-RECs) with a supplementary label issued by the Energy Peace Partners that certifies the co-benefits associated with the development of renewable power in the countries with high climate vulnerability and energy.
Microsoft has entered into an agreement with DRC-based solar mini-grid developer Nuru. The deal was facilitated by global green power & climate solutions provider 3Degrees. This second deal has made the tech giant the first repeat buyer of this type of I-REC.
After its first deal in 2020, Microsoft has now taken part in the largest P-REC transaction to date. Its previous P-REC purchase financed the installation of streetlights connected to Nuru’s 1.3-MW solar mini-grid located in the Ndosho neighborhood of Goma, North Kivu province.
The new deal will contribute to the financing of Nuru’s newly installed 3.7-MW solar metro grid in Goma. It is also expected to expand the initial project in Ndosho by supporting electricity connections for the first time in several homes, businesses, and social institutions. Nuru has planned the installation of an additional 14 MW in renewable energy projects in the DRC by 2023.
These ongoing renewable projects will benefit more than 125,000 people becoming one of the largest off-grid mini-grids projects operating in Sub-Saharan Africa. The projects have targeted to raise the average electricity rate from 3% to nearly 20% in the energy deficit countries.