PHOENIX--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the first time in the plant’s history, a planned refueling outage at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station has been completed in less than 30 days. This year’s Unit 1 spring refueling outage began on March 30 and was completed last Sunday, April 28 – in a total time of 29 days, 18 hours.
The sub-30 day outage is an achievement that should be appreciated by the entire company, said APS Chairman and CEO Don Brandt.
“This effort all goes back to the often-repeated vision statement at Palo Verde: ‘We safely and efficiently generate electricity for the long term,’” Brandt said. “This record-setting outage was accomplished with safety and efficiency always top of mind. Congratulations to the crew at Palo Verde and to the entire APS workforce.”
This outage demonstrated the ability of Palo Verde staff to effectively – and safely – reduce the facility’s plant refueling outage time for each unit to 30 days or less. The previous shortest Palo Verde refueling outage was 31 days in fall 2012.
Customers directly benefit from shorter refueling outages because Palo Verde provides a reliable supply of low-cost electricity which – particularly through the hot Arizona summers – is essential to serving our customers, said Randy Edington, APS Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer. “The more days Palo Verde is operating rather than in a refueling outage, the more cost-effective energy is available to customers across Arizona and the Southwest.”
“This was a tremendous effort by the entire Palo Verde team,” he added. “All our refueling outage goals were met, and the leadership and organizational effectiveness was excellent throughout the outage. It sets the stage for this kind of outage effort going forward and becoming our norm.”
In 2012, Palo Verde achieved its 21st consecutive year as the nation’s largest power producer. Palo Verde is 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 eight times.
Also in 2012, according to industry data, Unit 1 produced more electricity in 2012 than any other reactor in the United States and was the third most productive in the world.
In addition to the energy produced, Palo Verde has an estimated annual economic impact of $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, 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 electricity utility, serves more than 1.1 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).