Nuclear Power

Clean, emission-free power for 30 years

The Palo Verde Generating Station, located in Arizona, has provided clean, safe, reliable energy to PNM customers for 30 years. It is the largest power producer of any kind in the nation, and is the source of 80% of New Mexico's emission-free energy. 

Name

Location

Generating Capacity (MW)

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station

Wintersburg, AZ

402

 

Palo Verde has provided clean, safe, reliable energy to PNM customers for 30 years. PNM has just over 10% ownership in the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station (Palo Verde), the largest nuclear power plant in the U.S., located near Phoenix, Arizona. In 2020, PNM announced that it will exit its leases for 114 megawatts of Palo Verde capacity. The replacement of this leased capacity allows PNM to integrate more renewable resources that provide the best value to customers and support the path to emissions-free energy by 2040. PNM will continue its ownership of 288 megawatts to provide carbon-free energy to meet customer needs every hour of every day. 

Palo Verde is licensed and routinely inspected by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). It is a three-unit, 3,810 MW generating station operated by Arizona Public Service Company that serves more than one million homes in the Southwest. It currently provides about 33 percent of the power needs of PNM consumers in 2018.

Palo Verde generates more than 32 million megawatt hours annually, which is enough to power four million people's homes.

Since beginning operation, power generation at Palo Verde has offset the emission of more than 484 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to taking 84 million cars off the road.

Palo Verde emits no carbon dioxide in the generation process. The plant generates spent nuclear fuel that is stored in an onsite fuel pool until it can be transferred to dry storage casks inside an NRC licensed, on-site storage facility. This facility may be expanded to include all required casks for nuclear fuel used through Palo Verde's NRC Operating License duration of 2047.

Palo Verde is the only nuclear energy facility in the world that uses treated sewage effluent for cooling water. The sewage effluent water is produced from the metropolitan Phoenix area. The wastewater is treated again at the plant's water reclamation facility and then stored in an 80-acre reservoir for use in the plant's nine cooling towers. More than 20 billion gallons of water are recycled each year.