April 13, 2018 Read More →

APS Says Green Ballot Initiative Could Force Closure of Palo Verde Nuclear Plant

AZCentral.com (USA Today network):

The nation’s biggest producer of electricity, the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, could be forced to close in the next decade if voters approve a renewable-energy ballot measure, the plant’s owners said. The plant is run by Arizona Public Service Co., which is fighting the clean-energy ballot measure on several fronts.

The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona measure would amend the state constitution to require utilities to get half their electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2030.

Supporters gathering signatures in hopes of putting the amendment on the November ballot said APS is exaggerating the economic fallout of the proposal and that there is no evidence the nuclear plant would be forced to close.

APS officials said the measure would prompt so much solar- and wind-power development that there would be too much energy on the grid during mild parts of the year when Arizonans aren’t cranking up their air conditioners. That oversupply would force the shutdown of its coal and nuclear plants, which are known as baseload facilities because their power output doesn’t fluctuate, they said.

“The way we see this, it will force the closure of all our baseload facilities,” said Jeff Burke, APS’ resource planning director. “This really closes the door on a lot of different resources.”

The three nuclear generators are co-owned by seven utilities in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. Salt River Project, which serves the Phoenix area, is one of those co-owners. It would not be directly affected by the ballot initiative, but spokeswoman Patty Garcia-Likens the initiative likely would affect that company’s baseload power resources if enacted. It’s unclear how the other utilities who own part of Palo Verde would respond if APS were to decide to shut it down.

More: Palo Verde Nuclear Plant Could Close If Renewable-Energy Measure Passes, APS Says

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