DRC's Nuru Secures US$40 Million Equity Funding
The metrogrid company will immediately begin construction of 13.7MW of solar capacity.
Nuru, a minigrid and renewables operator based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has announced the successful close of over US$40m in Series B equity funding and anticipates the close of an additional US$28m in project finance by the end of the month.
The funds will enable the firm to begin construction on a further 13.7MW of off-grid solar projects in the DRC.
The US$40m comes from equity investors including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), the Renewable Energy Performance Platform (REPP), Proparco, E3 Capital, Voltalia, the Schmidt Family Foundation, GAIA Impact Fund, and the Joseph Family Foundation.
Jonathan Shaw, co-founder and CEO of Nuru, said: “Closing the Series B is a significant milestone in Nuru’s journey, but also demonstrates the viability of the metrogrid model in the distributed energy sector in Africa.”
Work will begin immediately on three projects in Goma, Kindu and Bunia, with a combined capacity of 13.7MW. The Bunia site will become the largest off-grid solar hybrid metrogrid in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Nuru already has solar capacity operating in the cities of Goma, Beni, Tadu, and Faradje. The company, which was established in 2015, aims to provide electricity access to 5 million people by 2024.
IFC country manager for the DRC, Malick Fall said: “Expanding access to electricity is instrumental to supporting economic growth and improving living standards for people and businesses in the DRC. IFC’s support for Nuru will play a pivotal role in helping to bridge the energy access gap by using an innovative business model, new technology and more climate friendly power sources.”
Less than 20% of the DRC’s population currently has access to energy.
Photo: Gomo off-grid solar plant (Source: Nuru)