After Microsoft’s inaugural purchase of Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECs) in 2020, the tech giant signed another deal to acquire credits from solar facilities in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
This agreement, inked by Microsoft and project developer Nuru with support from the Energy Peace Partners (EPP), makes Microsoft the first repeat P-REC customer and the largest P-REC transaction to date. 3Degrees, a climate solutions provider that has worked on all P-REC transactions to date, supported the transaction once again.
P-RECs are a type of International Renewable Energy Certificate (I-RECs) generated by projects in climate-vulnerable, energy-poor, and fragile countries. Each P-REC represents one megawatt-hour of renewable energy generated, with an EPP-issued supplemental label certifying the peacebuilding co-benefits of the project.
Microsoft signed the world’s first P-REC contract in 2020, which funded the installation of public streetlights linked to Nuru’s 1.3 MW solar mini-grid in Goma.
The second purchase expands the project by supporting first-time electricity connections for households, businesses, and social institutions, as well as deploying additional streetlights, which improve community nighttime security and allow local businesses and markets to operate during evening hours.
The purchase also directly helps to fund Nuru’s new 3.7 MW solar metro-grid, which is expected to serve nearly 20,000 direct beneficiaries in Goma. Together, the projects will form one of the largest off-grid mini-grids in Sub-Saharan Africa, benefiting 125,000 people.
“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,” said Steve McDougal, CEO of 3Degrees.
Elizabeth Willmott, Microsoft’s Carbon Program Director, pointed out that by broadening the scope of this project, Microsoft is helping to provide real access to electricity for a huge number of the area’s population.