Microsoft buys more certificates to support solar mini-grid in DR Congo


May 17 (Renewables Now) – US tech giant Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has made a second investment in Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECs) tied to a solar project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

After making its first purchase in 2020, Microsoft has now taken part in the largest P-REC transaction to date, while also becoming the first recurring buyer of such International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-RECs) issued by Energy Peace Partners (PPE), according to a statement released on Tuesday.

The computer software major has struck a deal with DRC-based mini-grid developer Nuru. The deal was facilitated by global climate solutions provider 3Degrees.

Microsoft’s first P-REC purchase funded the installation of public streetlights connected to Nuru’s 1.3 MW solar mini-grid in the Ndosho district of Goma. Now, the new agreement directly contributes to the financing of the new 3.7 MW solar metropolitan network of Nuru in Goma and will extend the initial project to Ndosho by supporting the first electricity connections for homes, businesses and social institutions.

The announcement says these projects will form one of the largest off-grid mini-grids operating in sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately benefiting 125,000 people. It should raise the average electricity rate from 3% to around 20%.

After installing its first solar mini-grid in 2017, Nuru is now aiming to install an additional 14 MW in renewable energy infrastructure in the DRC in 2023.

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