Mahindra Susten, a private-sector renewable power producer, announced today that it has been awarded the ‘Water Positive Verification’ certificate for its 100% operating portfolio for the assessment year FY23.
The accreditation, granted by TUV India (TÜV Nord Group), recognizes Susten’s commitment towards planet-positive initiatives and water resource conservation, said the company.
This recognition was awarded after an audit of all project locations in five states: Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. As per TUV India’s evaluation, Susten’s +1.5 GWp of renewable energy portfolio commands a score of 15 (Positive) on the Water Footprint Index implying that water recharged is 15 times over what was consumed.
Deepak Thakur, managing director and chief executive officer, Mahindra Susten, said, “While the solar sector is critical for meeting the world’s renewable energy needs, it has traditionally been water-intensive, which goes against sustainability norms. This is primarily attributed to the constant need for cleaning solar modules to minimize soiling loss and mitigate module performance-related impacts. We have taken a major step towards establishing sustainable operations by having a 100% water-positive portfolio.
Undertaking solar projects in water-stressed areas such as Rajasthan presents substantial problems for any developer in terms of securing the needed amount and quality of water.
Recognizing this challenge, Mahindra Susten initiated a mission to reduce water consumption without compromising the efficiency of solar power plants.
The company adopted a three-step approach to reduce its water footprint:
- Reduction of water consumption: By using high-quality water spray pumps, water piping systems, and innovative module cleaning brushes.
- Elimination of water for module cleaning: Eliminated water for module cleaning by investing in advanced technology, such as dry-cleaning robots. Currently, 63% of Mahindra Susten’s portfolio uses these robots, resulting in the annual conservation of almost 67 million litres of water—equivalent to fulfilling the basic water needs of 50,000 people throughout the year.
- Water conservation: Implemented sustainable practices, including groundwater recharge systems with artificial recharge ponds and rainwater harvesting recharge pits.
Mahindra Susten is Mahindra Group’s renewable energy platform. Its RE EPC portfolio includes over 4 GWp of installed capacity. Under independent power producer business, the company has more than 1.5 GWp of operating solar plants and more than 1 GW in development pipeline spread across several states in India. The IPP renewable portfolio is backed by long-term power purchase agreements – around 75% of assets are backed by central government entities and the remaining with distribution companies backed by state governments.
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