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Solar Reaches Great Heights to Power IOC Bottling Unit in Leh

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Solar Reduces Air Pollution in Leh

The nation’s largest oil refiner and fuel retailer, Indian Oil Corporation or IOC has recently announced setting up of solar power at its bottling unit in Leh, Jammu & Kashmir. This is the highest such unit in the world situated at an altitude of 11,800 feet. The plant is the only source of LPG to the Indian Army and people staying around that area. Leh has also become a hot tourist destination lately, which has also led to a rising demand for gas and fuel.

A 100 kW solar power plant has been constructed to power the LPG unit. Earlier diesel gensets were used to power the LPG plant (capacity – 1,500 kilolitre) as it was not connected with the power grid. Approximately 30,000 litres of diesel consumption annually will be saved by the solar plant, which will, in turn, improve the air quality too. The solar power plant has been built at cost of over INR 1 crore.

Also, read Solar in Andaman & Nicobar islands.

The bottling unit in Leh is the only hope of supplying cooking gas refills to soldiers and masses staying at such great heights. The conditions further worsen during extremely cold weather conditions (-30 degree centigrade). The IOC has set a target of running 10,000 retail outlets on solar power. The company has also installed solar power system at the petrol pump in Leh, in addition to two other solar-powered retail outlets in the Ladakh region.

IOCL Solar Leh

A Retail IOC outlet in Leh

It is a great initiative to take solar to such heights, I mean altitudes (here), as there is negligible power from the grid. The Leh region is suitable for solar power generation as it receives ample amount of sunlight and has dry weather conditions. The only issue here remains is the construction of sufficient transmission infrastructure, which remains difficult in hilly regions.

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Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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