march 7, 2016
palo verde nuclear generating station sets u.s. power production record
palo verde unit 1 ranked as the top nuclear producer in the world for 2015
For the 24th consecutive year, the 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.
The plant’s 2015 output exceeded its previous power generation record of 32.3 million MWh, a record established in 2014. In addition, Palo Verde Unit 1 produced the highest electricity output of any nuclear unit in the world, and all three Palo Verde units, individually, ranked among the top seven international producers, according to industry data.
“Without question, 2015 was our best year ever at Palo Verde,” said Randy Edington, APS Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer. “Electricity production records, shorter refueling outages, reduced production costs and an ever-present emphasis on safety helped ensure that electricity customers across Arizona and the Southwest were able to benefit from reliable, low-cost electricity.
“Just as important, by being the country’s largest source of carbon-free electricity, Palo Verde helped avoid more than 13.2 million metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions that would otherwise have been needed to power homes and businesses from Texas to California. This is the equivalent of removing 2.8 million cars from our streets and highways every year. We’re proud to be 80 percent of Arizona’s carbon-free electricity.”
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.
Palo Verde is a critical asset to the entire Southwest and an economic engine. 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.
Palo Verde is operated by APS and jointly owned by APS, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison Co., El Paso Electric Co., Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Southern California Public Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electric utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).