In Conversation With Suhas Sutar – Head Energy Storage, Mahindra Susten

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In an exclusive interview with EnergyStorage Pro magazine, Mr. Suhas Sutar – Head Energy Storage, Mahindra Susten talks about how the company has emerged from the Covid crisis and the recent developments. He also spoke about the present and expected future trends with respect to storage in the country. 

How is the year 2021 progressing for Mahindra Susten? How has energy storage emerged at your company from the Covid crisis?

Covid-19 was a global disaster, it was an unprecedented time for everyone. The offices were closed and we started working overnight. Susten started focusing on the Hybrid Energy segment from FY19, during COVID period the team worked from
home relentlessly understanding the BESS technology, bidding the available tenders. In 2020 when it was the peak of COVID spread, the team worked with stakeholders remotely and managed to submit and win bids online. We won India’s largest
BESS tender in FY 21 having capacity 2 x 3MW PV + 2 x 3MW/7.5MWHr BESS projects in RA. The project was awarded in FY21 and is about to commission in Q2 of FY22.

Please tell us about some recent initiatives and developments at Mahindra Susten.

In Susten, currently we are focusing on energy storage beyond Li-ion, assessing different energy storage technologies.  Looking at current round the clock tenders in the market we are also working on a customised system sizing tool using Python coding language.

What are some of the technological innovations happening in the energy storage sector currently in India?

India having such a huge grid with only one energy storage technology will never be able to fulfil its demand. In addition to conventional pumped hydro storage India is working on developing markets for different energy storage technologies such as Li-ion, Hydrogen, Ammonia based energy storage, flow battery etc. Different pilots conducted in the country and the current EOIs by SECI & NTPC strengthens this development.

According to you, what are some of the present trends and expected future trends in the energy storage sector in India?

India is marching right ahead on its target of 450GW of renewable energy sources by 2030. With such huge renewable energy resources in the grid, energy storage as a spinning reserve proves to be very critical. As per IEEFA, India’s battery storage market is a sleeping giant. The current push to deliver renewable energy round the clock is bringing big hope to the energy storage market. The new initiatives/ guidelines such as Regulation for Ancillary services, SAMAST – Scheduling, Metering, Accounting and Settlement of Transactions in Electricity will further strengthen the stationary energy storage market & its development.

What is Mahindra Susten’s plan of growth for the next couple of years?

Mahindra Susten shall continue to work as IPP to grow it’s renewable energy portfolio exponentially including Hybrid Energy projects. Obviously this will have a big deal of energy storage. 

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