Shining the spotlight on new solar lights at Joffre

Published: May 19, 2023

When more light is needed at a nitrogen facility, it’s not as easy as flipping on a switch. The operations are widespread with lots of the machinery located outdoors, so getting additional lighting requires a large-scale solution.

To solve this issue at our Joffre Nitrogen facility in Alberta, Canada, the team implemented five solar hybrid light towers, with two more on the way, just in time for the site’s turnaround.


Turnarounds are scheduled maintenance and upgrade periods to ensure operations are running safely and efficiently. At our North American facilities, turnarounds typically occur during the summer months every few years, so Joffre is taking advantage of the extra sunlight to power the towers, and the batteries maintain their charge longer with the warmer temperature.

Harnessing solar power is also more environmentally smart than using diesel lights. By improving energy efficiency, we’re directly reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“At Nutrien, we’re always looking for ways to minimize Scope 1 emissions, and this initiative fits nicely into that goal,” says Ken Stelmach, Senior Manager, Environmental Management Operations. “With the northern climate that our Canadian operations are situated in, it can be challenging to reduce the carbon footprint, so these solar-powered lights make total sense. Also, reducing the frequency of refilling the diesel tanks lowers the chance of a spill and potential environmental incident.”

The site is realizing energy and cost savings thanks to the solar hybrid lights, and the team is proud to share this continuous improvement initiative.

“To me, one of the aspects of continuous improvement means being open to exploring new technologies and understanding how they can improve our site from a safety, quality and cost standpoint,” says Brad Walker, Coordinator, Turnaround Management. “With Joffre’s upcoming turnaround, I saw this as an opportunity to fulfill additional lighting requirements in the field and save on resources.”

Using solar hybrid lights in place of fossil-fueled equipment has many advantages.

“I’m proud of the folks at Joffre for approaching this issue with an inquisitive attitude and finding a new solution to help improve the safety, efficiency and sustainability of our operations,” says Alex Deagle, Superintendent, Maintenance and Engineering.