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Palo Verde Sets National Production Record, Logs Best Operational Year Ever

January 15, 2003  Phoenix, AZ


Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in 2002 produced a national-record 30.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, breaking its own record of 30.4 billion kilowatt-hours set in each of 1999 and 2000.


The station operated at a best-ever 94.4-percent capacity factor and marked the 11th consecutive year as the number one power producer of any kind in the United States.


"It’s paramount for Palo Verde to perform well. Because of our size, the strength and reliability of the energy supply in the Southwest are very dependent on our consistent operations," said Gregg Overbeck, senior vice president of nuclear operations for APS, Palo Verde’s operating utility. "This past year was our best for Palo Verde operations, which transcends into outstanding nuclear safety and economic performance for the station. Palo Verde’s success is directly the result of a motivated and engaged workforce. Every year we set very aggressive targets for our employees’ success and every year they exceed our expectations."

Among other successes for Palo Verde in 2002:


  • Unit 1 operated for its entire fuel cycle – running "breaker-to-breaker" for a unit-record 502 continuous days, one of the best operational runs between refueling outages in station history.
  • Units 1 and 2 experienced their shortest refueling outages at 33 days and 32 days respectively, continuing the station’s ongoing record of shortening refueling outages.
  • The station recorded a three-year average production cost of about 1.28 cents per kilowatt-hour, among the lowest in the industry.
  • Two 800-ton replacement steam generators arrived in Arizona from their manufacturing facility in Milan, Italy. The vessels will be installed in Unit 2 during a scheduled refueling outage this fall.
  • NRC-required inspections of the reactor vessel heads in Units 1 and 2 found the equipment in outstanding condition as expected. Unit 3 will be inspected during a scheduled refueling outage this spring.

Palo Verde is 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, which operates Palo Verde on behalf of the station’s six other owners, is Arizona's largest and longest-serving electric utility and serves more than 874,000 customers in 11 of the state's 15 counties. APS, with headquarters in Phoenix, is the largest subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (NYSE: PNW).

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