More than 180,000 people and businesses are expected to benefit from first-time access to electricity or an improved connection through the roll out of a 13.7MWp portfolio of solar-hybrid isolated grids in DRC.

REPP has invested USD 6 million to support the development and construction of a 13.7MWp portfolio of solar-hybrid isolated grids in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

DRC is the second largest and fourth most populous country in Africa, with one of the richest endowments of natural resources globally. However, it remains one of the world’s poorest countries as a result of decades of political upheaval and conflict over the resources. And with approximately 19% of the population having access to electricity – it is also one of the least electrified. The country’s grid electricity generation comes predominantly from hydropower plants, which are coming under mounting pressure due to a lack of maintenance and the increased incidence of drought as a consequence of climate change.

The project portfolio, being developed by Congo Energy Solutions Limited (trading name “Nuru”), aims to close the energy access deficit while aiding the diversification and decentralisation of DRC’s energy mix, in doing so supporting DRC’s Strategic National Development Plan (SNDP 2019-2023) goal for increased renewable energy development.

Prior to REPP’s involvement, the company had installed 1.7MWp of operating capacity, providing commercial and industrial (C&I) and residential customers in large off-grid towns with reliable, affordable and clean energy from solar PV installations. Communities in the Ndosho neighbourhood in Goma are also benefiting from solar-powered streetlights that have been installed to enhance safety and security in the densely populated area with high levels of crime. The streetlight project was partially funded by the sale of Peace Renewable Energy Credits (P-RECs) to Microsoft in a deal facilitated by Energy Peace Partners and 3Degrees in 2020.

REPP made an initial investment of USD 500,000 in March 2023 alongside funding from Proparco and E3 Capital) to bridge a financing gap in the build-up to Nuru’s USD 40 million Series B equity fundraise and help bring the deal to financial close. The residual REPP funds (USD 5.5 million) were invested at the close of the Series B round in June 2023 alongside a consortium of international investors including a strategic investor, helping to accelerate the implementation of three late-stage development projects with an aggregate installed capacity of 13.7MWp.

Once completed, Nuru will be providing first-time energy access to more than 30,000 people, as well as improving the existing connections of a further 146,000 people, 4,460 businesses and 130 critical services, most of which currently rely on diesel gensets for their power. This will lead to greater levels of economic activity, improved living standards for the region’s communities, as well as enhanced security.

The investment is expected to serve as an indication of improving investment conditions in DRC, which could subsequently attract additional investors, particularly from the private sector.

Funding structure

Contracted date: 15 July 2023
Funding type: Equity
REPP funding: USD 6 million

REPP's team have been absolutely catalytic in ensuring Nuru's pipeline is funded and under deployment. Nuru needed a dynamic, outcomes-focused partner to help us tackle the enormous needs and opportunities of the DRC market, and REPP have repeatedly played a proactive and decisive role in our round. We are thrilled to partner with REPP to achieve transformational impact in Congo.
- Jonathan Shaw, CEO, Nuru