The inaugural Peace Renewable Energy Credit (P-REC) purchase from 2020 is expanding with a new purchase by Microsoft of credits from solar projects in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). This agreement, executed by Microsoft and project developer Nuru, with support from Energy Peace Partners (EPP), makes Microsoft the first repeat P-REC buyer and is also the largest P-REC deal transacted to date. The transaction was once again facilitated by 3Degrees, a leading global climate solutions provider that has worked on all P-REC deals to date. The team jointly announced the deal at the Sustainable Energy for All Forum taking place in Kigali, Rwanda this week.
P-RECs are international renewable energy certificates (I-RECs) that support high impact renewable energy projects in fragile, climate vulnerable countries. P-RECs are a supplementary label developed and issued by EPP, certifying the co-benefits associated with the new renewable energy generation.
Microsoft’s initial P-REC purchase funded the installation of public streetlights connected to Nuru’s 1.3MW solar minigrid in the Ndosho neighborhood of Goma. This second purchase expands the project in Ndosho by supporting first-time electricity connections for households, businesses, and social institutions, and deploying additional streetlights that improve nighttime security in the community and allow local businesses and markets to operate during evening hours. The purchase also contributes directly to the financing of Nuru’s new 3.7 MW solar metro-grid anticipated to serve nearly 20,000 direct beneficiaries in Goma. Together, the projects will constitute one of the largest off-grid mini-grids operating in Sub-Saharan Africa, eventually benefitting 125,000 people and raising the average electricity rate from 3% to around 20%.
“By expanding the impact of this project, Microsoft is helping to enable meaningful access to electricity for a large portion of the area’s residents,” said Elizabeth Willmott, Carbon Program Director, Microsoft.
“This transaction contributes meaningfully to delivering on Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) to end energy poverty and ensure a clean energy transition that leaves no one behind. We are excited to see the P-REC market contribute to increasing renewable energy access in the DRC and unleashing the full potential of Congolese communities,” said Dave Mozersky, President of Energy Peace Partners. “We are grateful for the leadership demonstrated by Microsoft, 3Degrees and Nuru in helping to extend the renewable energy revolution to communities where it has outsize impact.”
“We are thrilled to close this new P-REC deal with Microsoft, 3Degrees, and Energy Peace Partners. Through our collaboration, we will deploy and operate new renewable energy infrastructure and public streetlights, improving thousands of lives in Goma, DRC,” Jonathan E. Shaw, Co-Founder and CEO, Nuru. “Together our work will continue to inspire and amplify the incredible human capacity in Congo by providing thousands of delighted people with the first-time and world-class energy services that they deserve. These projects will also enable us to decarbonize and green existing energy sources, building climate-resilient and sustainable communities in DRC. Working together with companies like Microsoft, 3Degrees, and Energy Peace Partners is critical for achieving collective impact in DRC. We are excited to renew our relationship through this P-REC purchase and to achieve big results in DRC’s communities together.”
“We are thrilled to continue to support Microsoft as they further their commitment to Peace RECs with this meaningful second investment in the Goma solar project,” said Steve McDougal, CEO, 3Degrees. “It’s incredibly rewarding to work on renewable energy procurements like this that will ultimately make such a positive, direct difference in the lives of people in that community. We appreciate the partnership with EPP and Nuru and the opportunity to collaborate with them, once again, to help make this largest-ever P-REC transaction a reality.”
About Energy Peace Partners
Energy Peace Partners leverages climate finance solutions to support peace in places affected by violent conflict. We believe that a paradigm shift toward climate-sensitive development can deliver enduring benefits to the planet’s most vulnerable populations. The Energy Peace Partners team brings together expertise in international peacebuilding, renewable energy, and climate security. Our efforts create an enabling environment for introducing renewable energy that can serve as the building blocks for peace.
Nuru is a company dedicated to enhancing connectivity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Nuru deployed DRC’s first solar-based mini-grid in 2017 and a 1.3 MW commercial solar-plus-storage hybrid site in Goma, North Kivu in 2020. Building on this success, Nuru plans to install an additional 14 MW in renewable energy infrastructure in DRC in 2023. Nuru, meaning “light” in Swahili, encapsulates our vision to inspire and catalyze the incredible human potential in Congo by providing 5 million delighted clients with world-class connectivity by September 24, 2024.