march 2, 2016
aps promotes lacal to svp of regulatory and oversight at palo verde nuclear generating station
she succeeds retiring senior vp dwight mims
PHOENIX – Arizona Public Service Co. announced today that nuclear power veteran Maria Lacal
has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Oversight at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Her promotion is effective immediately.
Lacal succeeds Dwight Mims
, who will retire from the company in October 2016 following a distinguished nine-year career at Palo Verde and a total of 39 years in the nuclear power industry. Until his retirement, Mims will remain actively involved in the nuclear energy industry and continue supporting Palo Verde leadership.
“Maria is a talented executive with the leadership skills and experience to help keep Palo Verde among the best-performing plants in the nuclear industry,” said Don Brandt
, Chairman, President and CEO of APS and Chairman of the Nuclear Energy Institute, the nuclear energy industry’s national trade organization. “She is also a trailblazer who continues to be a role model in a field historically dominated by men. She’s been fearless and passionate as she has moved through her career, tackling tough issues and mentoring the next generation of nuclear leaders.”
As Palo Verde’s new Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Oversight, Lacal will oversee the following organizations: Regulatory Affairs; Nuclear Assurance; Performance Improvement; Site Programs; and Employee Concerns and Nuclear Safety Culture.
"I am excited to announce Maria's promotion to senior vice president and am proud of the terrific job she has done in our organization as a key contributor in our site's success," said Randy Edington
, APS Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer. "We expect Maria's sound judgment, operational knowledge and eye on continuous improvement to have a positive impact on the groups she is now leading."
Lacal joined APS as Director of Strategic Planning at Palo Verde in 2007. She was named Vice President, Operations Support for Palo Verde in January 2011. Prior to that, she served as General Manager, Emergency Services and Support and Director, Strategic Planning.
Prior to joining APS, she served as Director of Operations Support for the nuclear division of Florida Power and Light Company. She has held other management positions, including Operations Manager at the Turkey Point Nuclear Plant.
Lacal obtained a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission senior reactor operator license in 1996. She has also served as chairman of the Academy Council for the National Academy for Nuclear Training. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Miami and recently completed the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.
For the 24th consecutive year, APS-operated Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station was the nation’s largest power producer, generating 32.5 million megawatt-hours (MWh) of carbon-free electricity in 2015. With this milestone, Palo Verde remains the only U.S. generating facility to ever produce more than 30 million megawatt-hours in a year – an operational accomplishment the plant has achieved each of the past seven years and a total of 11 times.
Since it began operation in 1986, Palo Verde has produced more than 780 million MWh, providing environmentally friendly energy to more than 4 million people. About half the plant’s output serves Arizona customers with the remaining power spread among California, New Mexico and far west Texas. Palo Verde’s three reactors are part of 99 operating nuclear units in the U.S. and 435 in the world. Its three units can generate more than 4 million kilowatts of safe, clean, reliable electricity every hour. In addition to the energy produced, the plant has an annual economic impact of more than $1.8 billion in Arizona through taxes, salaries, purchases of materials and services, and more.