Palo Verde Clean Energy Performance Highlighted as Industry Gathers in Arizona
Hundreds of nuclear technology industry leaders will meet next week in Scottsdale to discuss the future of nuclear energy. The Nuclear Energy Institute’s 64th Annual Nuclear Energy Assembly will take place just 75 miles away from the nation’s largest clean energy resource – the APS-operated Palo Verde Generating Station – which has served Arizona as America’s number one power producer for 25 straight years.
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APS will serve as host utility for this major industry conference and supplier expo May 22-24 at Westin Kierland Resort. During the conference, the company will participate in discussions on the future of nuclear energy, advanced technology and ways to educate the public about nuclear energy. The conference will also feature the annual meeting of the North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN).
“These bright, enthusiastic engineers are the future of our industry,” said Bob Bement, APS Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer. “We welcome the opportunity to engage with this next generation of leaders and blend our experience with their fresh ideas for innovation and efficiency to even better serve our customers and contribute to a better energy future for Arizona.”
In 2016, Palo Verde generated 32.2 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of carbon-free electricity; since it began operation in 1986, the plant has produced more than 810 billion kWh, providing environmentally friendly energy to more than 4 million people in four states.
“What does that mean for APS customers and all Arizonans? It means fewer carbon dioxide emissions – 13.2 million metric tons fewer – or the equivalent of removing 2.8 million cars from our streets each year, which helps protect Arizona’s fragile desert environment. The plant also helps conserve Arizona’s precious water supplies. It is the only nuclear plant in the United States that does not sit on a large body of water, like an ocean, lake or river, so Palo Verde recycles wastewater from local towns and cities to meet the plant’s cooling needs,” said Bement. “As the producer of 80 percent of Arizona’s clean electricity, Palo Verde provides the foundation for the reliable service our customers count on, especially as we head into summer and Arizona’s most active weather season, which brings monsoon storms and wildfires, both of which can threaten power lines and service.”
Palo Verde is a major economic engine for the state. The plant provides strong job opportunities, employing 2,600 APS workers, and it swells by another 800 contractors during biannual refueling outages. Its annual economic impact in Arizona is more than $1.8 billion through taxes, salaries, purchases of materials and services, and more. (That figure does not include the actual energy produced by the plant.) In addition, Palo Verde is the largest single commercial taxpayer in Arizona with taxes of more than $50 million.
Just as Palo Verde embraces its young nuclear professionals, it is helping to develop a new generation of utility workers, partnering with Estrella Mountain Community College and West-MEC Southwest to educate and train high school students who are interested in nuclear power plant careers.
With a forward-thinking mindset, Palo Verde is a thriving resource that provides the backbone to the western U.S. electrical grid. It is the only U.S. generating facility to ever produce more than 30 billion kWh in a year – an operational accomplishment Palo Verde has achieved each of the past eight years and a total of 12 times. The plant’s three reactors can generate more than 4,000 megawatts of safe, clean, reliable electricity every hour, and Unit 2 generated more electricity than any single unit in the world in 2016, according to industry statistics.
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 and Power.
APS serves about 2.7 million people in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties, and is the Southwest’s foremost producer of clean, safe and reliable electricity. Using a balanced energy mix that is nearly 50 percent carbon-free, APS has one of the country’s cleanest energy portfolios, including both Palo Verde Generating Station and renewable energy. The company is also a proven leader in introducing technology and services that offer customers choice and control over their energy consumption. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).