Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station is made up of three identical 1,270
megawatt pressurized water reactors, each of which has independent safety,
steam, and turbine generator equipment and operates as an independent plant
supplying base load power to the regional grid. Palo Verde is considered
to be the largest nuclear energy facility in the United States. It has the
greatest generating capacity of all American nuclear power plants, producing
a total of 3,810,000 kilowatts. This is sufficient power for approximately
4,000,000 people. The station generates electricity to serve people in the
states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
Palo Verde, which is located approximately 55 miles west of Phoenix and
covers 4,080 acres, is licensed and operated by the Arizona Public Service
Company. Other co-owners are the Salt River Project (17.5%), Southern
California Edison Company (15.8%), El Paso Electric Company (15.8%), Public
Service Company of New Mexico (10.2%), Southern California Public Power
Authority (5.9%), and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (5.7%).
Palo Verde is unique in that it is the only "desert" nuclear
plant in the western hemisphere - an engineering feat. Palo Verde reclaims
and uses wastewater from local cities for condenser cooling water. For
reactor coolant and steam, Palo Verde uses de-mineralized, de-ionized
well water. There is no risk of sea, lake or river water contamination
or thermal pollution of waterways.