Tag Archives: arizona public service co

energy policies

Southwest Renewable Resource launches Website

The member electric utility companies of the Southwest Variable Energy Resources Initiative (SVERI) have launched a dedicated website that provides near real-time data for renewable energy resources from across the desert Southwest.

SVERI is partnering with the University of Arizona to collect, display and analyze generator output and electric customer load data from the participating companies. The website is available to the public and can be accessed at http://sveri.uaren.org.

The SVERI participants include Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, Arizona Public Service Co., El Paso Electric Co., Imperial Irrigation District, Public Service Company of New Mexico, Salt River Project, Tucson Electric Power Co. and the Western Area Power Administration’s Desert Southwest Region.

“Challenges being faced in the Pacific Northwest and California in integrating renewable generation drove the creation of this investigatory effort,” said Robert Kondziolka, director of Transmission and Generation Operations at SRP and the current chair of the management committee for SVERI.
“Our objective is to collectively determine if and when the integration of renewable resources into our respective systems may create operational challenges, and to identify the most appropriate tools to address this challenge. Our overall goal is always to ensure continued system reliability and to provide benefits to our customers.”

SVERI was formed in the fall of 2012 to evaluate the likely penetration, locations and operating characteristics of variable energy resources within the Southwest over the next 20 years. The SVERI participants are exploring tools that may facilitate variable energy resource integration and provide benefits to customers.

palo.verde

Palo Verde Unit 2 Ranked as Top Generator

For the 22nd consecutive year, Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station was the nation’s largest power producer, generating 31.4 million megawatt-hours in 2013. With this milestone, Palo Verde remains 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 on nine separate occasions.

Also in 2013, Unit 2 produced more electricity than any other reactor in the United States and was the second most productive in the world, according to industry data. The unit also achieved a 94.78 percent capacity factor, the highest of all plants in the world top 10 rankings. Capacity factor is an important measure of output and efficiency.

Unit 1 ranked third in the U.S. and seventh in the world, despite a scheduled refueling outage in spring 2013. The main purpose of a refueling outage is to replace some of the older fuel with new fuel that will produce more energy.

Unit 3, which underwent a scheduled refueling outage in fall 2013, ranked 16th in the U.S. and 28th in the world. Palo Verde’s three 1,340-megawatt (net) generating units are on an 18-month refueling cycle, with two refuelings scheduled each year – one in the spring and another in the fall.

“Our top priority is to safely and efficiently generate electricity, thereby providing APS customers and the entire southwest with clean, reliable, low-cost power,” said Randy Edington, Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for Arizona Public Service Co., the operator and largest owner of Palo Verde. “Once again, our employees’ steadfast focus on plant safety and overall performance improvement helped elevate Palo Verde among the nation’s best operating nuclear power facilities.”

Other 2013 accomplishments included:

Record refueling outage. For the first time ever, a planned refueling outage at Palo Verde was completed in less than 30 days. Last year’s Unit 1 refueling outage began on March 30 and was completed on April 28, 2013 – in a total time of 29 days, 18 hours. The previous shortest Palo Verde refueling outage was 31 days in fall 2012.
Outstanding simultaneous operation. Palo Verde’s three units operated simultaneously for 160 days, the second-longest continuous run in plant history. Together, the three units produced low-cost power around the clock from April 28 to Oct. 5, 2013.

Palo Verde is the largest nuclear power plant in the nation, and its three reactors are part of 100 operating units in the U.S. and 436 in the world. Its three units can generate more than 4 million kilowatts of safe, clean, reliable, low-cost electricity every hour – enough to serve about 4 million people across the southwestern U.S. Approximately half of the plant’s output serves Arizona customers with the remaining power spread among California, New Mexico and far west Texas. In addition to the energy produced, Palo Verde has an estimated annual economic impact of more than $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 Co., 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 nearly 1.2 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).

Elliot Corp Center

CBRE Completes $23.5M Sale of Elliot Corporate Center in Tempe

CBRE arranged the sale of Elliot Corporate Center located at 875 W. Elliot Road in Tempe, Ariz. The 223,392 square-foot office building commanded a sale price of $23.5 million, or $105.20 per square-foot.

Jim Fijan and Will Mast with CBRE’s Phoenix office represented the seller, tenants-in-common owners through Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Thompson National Properties LLC . The purchase was a joint venture between Everest Holdings in Scottsdale, Ariz. and Walton Street Capital in Chicago, Ill.

This transaction is another example of the continued demand for office investment properties in the southeast Valley,” said Fijan. “Savvy investors recognize the continued strengthening of the market and well-located, well-taken-care of assets, like Elliot Corporate Center, are going to be well received.”

Anchored by The Apollo Group, Inc.’s The University of Phoenix, which occupies 162,069 square feet, the two-story Elliot Corporate Center was 87% at the time of sale. The project also houses Lamson Business College in 32,400 square feet. The remaining vacant space totals 29,923 square feet and is available for lease.

Built in 1998, Elliot Corporate Center benefits from immediate access to I-10 at Elliot Road as well as access to a densely-populated, large and well educated workforce in south Tempe and the extended southeast Valley.

solar

APS proposes changing solar rates

A proposed rate change for Arizona Public Service Co. customers who install rooftop solar panels could affect the future of the state’s solar industry.

The utility is proposing to give customers with new solar panel systems less credit for the electricity their systems supply to the power grid under a proposal pending before the Arizona Corporation Commission.

The proposal would drop the rate of return by as much as 40 percent, but the utility says new customers would also be offered some incentives.

The utility says the change is needed because solar customers are not paying enough for the services they get when their panels are not producing electricity.

Greg Field of Arizona Solar Concepts says if the commission approves the proposed changes to the utility’s net metering program, it will destroy the state’s solar industry.

 

146074426

McDowell Sonoran Preserve to close early July

Fire danger prompts restrictions and increased patrols -

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve will close at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, to reduce the threat of wild fires during the Independence Day holiday. Summer temperatures dry out vegetation and create an extreme fire threat that can endanger lives, property and the Valley’s fragile desert. The availability and popularity of fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday increases that threat.

All trailheads into the 27,800-acre-acre preserve will have “closed” signs posted. Scottsdale police, staff and volunteer stewards will patrol the area to advise visitors about the closure and fire threat. Violating the closure is a Class 2 Misdemeanor punishable by up to four months in jail and a $750 fine.

The use of fireworks is prohibited in Scottsdale, but sales are permitted. Fireworks should not be used in Scottsdale – or anywhere near a natural desert environment.

“While the legislature mandated that firework sales are permitted throughout the state, our local ordinance prohibits the use of any type of consumer fireworks within city limits,” said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Ford. “Fireworks should not be used in Scottsdale – or anywhere near a natural desert environment.”

Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve encompasses the McDowell Mountains and large areas of the Sonoran Desert north of Dynamite Boulevard.

Visit www.scottsdaleaz.gov/fire.

Arizona Public Service

Arizona Public Service Co. Seeks Renewable Energy Projects

Arizona Public Service Co. announces a Request for Proposal (RFP) from solar developers and installers to construct a 14-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility – financed by APS through the company’s AZ Sun Program.

The RFP will commence on March 15. Interested parties are encouraged to participate in a bidder’s webinar on March 22. Additional information about the webinar and the RFP is available online.

Projects must employ commercially proven technology. When completed in 2013, the new solar facility, part of the AZ Sun Program, will be owned and operated by Arizona Public Service and is expected to provide electricity to more than 3,500 Arizona homes.

With AZ Sun, APS is investing in the development of 200 MW of solar photovoltaic power plants across Arizona. APS is partnering with third-party developers and equipment providers to design and construct the facilities, increasing the opportunity for more developers to participate since project financing is provided by APS.

The AZ Sun Program was approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2010, and expanded to include another 100 MW in January 2012. The five-year program is expected to have at least eight solar facilities online by 2015 and create more than 2,400 Arizona construction jobs.

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).

Palo Verde

Palo Verde Surpasses Production Record

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station achieved its 20th consecutive year as the nation’s largest power producer.

The almost 31.3 million megawatt-hours produced in 2011 is the most ever generated by Palo Verde or by any other U.S. power plant of any kind.

According to industry data, Unit 3 produced more electricity than any other reactor in the U.S. in 2011 and was the second most productive in the world. Despite a scheduled refueling outage in the spring of 2011, Unit 2 was third most productive reactor in the U.S. and ranked 10th in the world. Unit 1, which had a scheduled refueling outage in the fall of 2011, ranked 14th in the U.S. and 30th in the world. Palo Verde’s three reactors are part of 104 operating units in the U.S. and 435 in the world.

“Our investment in equipment upgrades and our employees’ efforts to continually improve safety and overall plant performance has resulted in many successes,” said Randy Edington, Executive Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer for Arizona Public Service Co., the operator and largest owner of Palo Verde. “We are proud of our accomplishments in enhancing plant operation and will continue to strive to improve our record. We will stay on our course to achieve our mission to ‘safely and efficiently generate electricity for the long term.’ ”

From 2002 to 2010, Palo Verde installed new steam generators, high-efficiency turbine rotors, new reactor vessel heads and rapid refueling machines in all three units. These large investments resulted in increased output by about 200 megawatts and reduced down time for refueling and maintenance.

Other 2011 accomplishments include:

  • After a two-year in-depth technical audit, inspection and scrutiny of the plant’s operation, equipment and safety performance, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved extending the operating licenses for all three Palo Verde units an additional 20 years beyond the original 40-year licenses, allowing Unit 1 to operate through 2045, Unit 2 through 2046 and Unit 3 through 2047.
  • Palo Verde set a record for lowest outage radiation exposure in the nuclear industry. Palo Verde’s Unit 1 refueling outage completed in November recorded the lowest ever 20.6 rem. Prior to 2011, the best refueling outage recorded for a U.S. commercial plant was 28.2 rem in 2006. The record low exposure included 106,424 man-hours accumulated by more than a thousand nuclear professionals who worked in the tightly controlled areas of the plant where radiological exposure is possible. Current industry median for station-best is 59 rem. Rem is an abbreviation for roentgen equivalent man, a measurement of ionizing radiation. One rem is equivalent to receiving one upper gastrointestinal (GI) computerized tomography (CT) scan.
  • Palo Verde opened a new Energy Education Center in Buckeye. The new building includes state-of-the-art equipment needed to respond to an emergency and provide the public with the most complete, timely and accurate information. It also will be used for other business purposes including employee training, industry conferences, offsite meetings and community outreach activities. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded the facility its second-highest rating under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, known as LEED.

 

Palo Verde is the largest nuclear power plant in the nation. Its three units can generate more than 4 million kilowatts of safe, clean, reliable, low-cost electricity every hour – enough to serve about 4 million people.

Palo Verde is operated by APS and jointly owned by APS, Salt River Project, Southern California Edison Co., El Paso Electric Co., Public Service Co. of New Mexico, Southern California Public Power Authority and the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power.

pin

Pinnacle West Named To Three Sustainability Lists

There’s some good green news for Arizona. For the sixth year in a row, Pinnacle West (the parent company of Arizona Public Service Co.) has been separately named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DSJI) North America and as one of the Global 100 Most Sustainable Companies in the World.

The index recognizes sustainable business practices for publicly held companies and the Global 100 is a list of the most sustainable companies in the world, as compiled by global investing magazine Corporate Knights.

In addition, the company was named to the JustMeans’ Global 1000 Sustainable Performance Leaders, ranking 294th out of 1,000 companies worldwide.

These recognitions signify Pinnacle West’s impressive focus on the environment.

“APS and Pinnacle West long ago adopted – and adhere to – a corporate strategy that balances financial strength with an equal focus on the environmental and community impacts of our business decisions,” said Ed Fox, APS Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer. “We are honored that independent and respected organizations, such as these three, continue to recognize our commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices, both of which are key drivers in our long-term strategy and our day-to-day decisions.”

www.pinnaclewest.com
www.aps.com

hr_team

2009 HR Team Of The Year Finalists

American Express LogoCompany: American Express Service Center – Phoenix
Web: www.americanexpress.com

Company established: 1850 | No. of employees in AZ: 7,400
No. of employees in HR dept.: 17

The 17 professionals in the human resources department at American Express’ service center in Phoenix have had a busy year and met many challenges amidst difficult circumstances.

The team fulfills its responsibilities by following two philosophies. First, it approaches its work as a partner with the center’s 2,900 employees. Team members participate in business meetings, listen to customer calls with employees and keep in touch with everyone who works there. Second, it believes all team members are “in it together.” They share information, focus on the most important priorities and support each other as a cohesive group.

The year began with work force reductions at the center, but the human resources team was expected to ramp up in areas needing additional attention. As part of that effort, the team successfully convinced existing front-line employees to take a chance and move into different jobs, even as the recession ravaged the financial-services sector.

Significant attention also was devoted to leadership development within the center’s management ranks. The team developed a new team-new leader assimilation program that reduced the learning curve for new managers. Four team members who specialize in leadership development conducted focus groups to help managers understand the needs and expectations of the employees they lead.

In addition, American Express selected its Phoenix service center to pilot a global wellness strategy this year. More than 1,300 employees participated in a kick-off event and 90 percent of employees who took on a healthy-living challenge completed it. The HR team also hired a full-time wellness coach and nutritionist.


Arizona Public Service Co.Company: Arizona Public Service Co.
Web: www.aps.com

Company established: 1886 | No. of employees in AZ: 7,147
No. of employees in HR dept.: 85

To say that the human resources department at Arizona Public Service Co. (APS) is busy is a vast understatement. This team of 85 professionals has its hands full.

APS faces a staffing challenge at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station west of Phoenix. As operator of North America’s largest nuclear power plant, APS must deal with the fact that the majority of the employees there will near retirement age at the end of this decade. Human resources has launched an intense 18-month program to train college engineering recruits on the operation of highly technical aspects of the plant. Also, existing Palo Verde engineers are being groomed as mentors for the college graduates.

Human resources overhauled APS’ leadership development programs, as well. Few succession plans were in place for key leaders, and many emerging leaders were not receiving the breadth and depth of assignments they needed to progress to the next level. All existing leaders are given values-based training and new leaders receive basic training in supervisory skills. And, for the first time, APS’ middle managers have a program that enhances their skill sets and gives them feedback from peers. In addition, human resources is developing an emerging-leaders program.

Another duty for human resources was modernizing the company’s compensation model. It also has revamped compensation philosophy, moving APS away from cost-of-living pay increases to a performance-based merit system. Starting in 2010, APS will have an incentive program impacting 95 percent of its work force that will be tied directly to performance of the company and its employees.


St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical CenterCompany: St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center
Web: www.stjosephs-phx.org


Company established: 1895 | No. of employees in AZ: 5,000+
No. of employees in HR dept.: 26

The human resources team at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center played a significant role in helping the Phoenix hospital reach two milestones this year.

St. Joseph’s became the only hospital in Arizona to be recognized by BestCompaniesAZ as a best place to work for seven consecutive years. And for the first time, St. Joseph’s was named by Modern Healthcare as one of the industry’s top 100 best places to work nationally. BestCompaniesAZ administers best-places-to-work recognition programs in Arizona. Modern Healthcare is a national health care business news magazine.

Employee satisfaction may have something to do with St. Joseph’s open-door and two-way communication policies. Staff members have ample opportunities to ask questions and provide input. Each department holds daily employee meetings, with the hospital’s president hosting monthly employee forums. In addition, senior management conducts employee town halls throughout the year. To promote a work-life balance, the hospital offers telecommuting, flex hours, compressed work weeks, summer hours and job sharing.

The 25-member human resources team encourages diversity at St. Joseph’s. It partners with the Center for Transitional Rehab to integrate brain-injured patients into the hospital’s staff. The team partners with local and national job boards to reach out to ethnic groups and has developed programs to support a large Hispanic and Filipino work force. Disabled workers are encouraged to apply for employment or volunteer at the hospital.

Reaching out to the community, the human resources staff hosted five workshops this year to help the unemployed use alternative job-search tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn. gement, and employee relations. Its clients include startup companies and Fortune 50 firms.

Baby Steps

Hispanic Chamber To Push For Guest Worker Program

Baby Steps

Hispanic Chamber to push for guest worker program

By David Schwartz

They are the lessons pulled from the history books and reinforced in the mind of a 12-year-old boy working in the picking fields of Holtville, a small agricultural enclave in Imperial Valley, Calif. It was there that young, macho Harry Garewal learned first-hand about the importance of immigrant labor, schooled on the tricks of the trade from the guest workers at the time as he harvested crops of carrots, onions, watermelons and tomatoes.

 

baby_stepsBeyond wearing long sleeves in the blaring sun and using overripe tomatoes to wash away the insecticides, the youth cultivated a broad realization that sticks with him today. “This country has been reliant on imported immigrant labor since its inception,” says Garewal, president and chief executive of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “That’s the way it has been and always will be. That’s what this issue is all about. Our labor market is based on supply and demand. There is a demand for these workers. And we need to have a program in place that gets the job done.” That’s why the 567-member chamber now is pushing for a federal guest worker program with renewed vigor, backed by small and medium-sized businesses who overwhelmingly have said they want the group to get involved in public policy issues.

Starting first with “baby steps,” Garewal says the chamber plans to add a stronger voice than ever before to the immigration debate as the nation struggles with a solution to what most agree is a broken system. Congress is expected to hold public hearings around the country this summer to listen to what the American public has to say about the divisive issue. This as President George W. Bush has made immigration reform a top priority and a guest worker program a key element in his plan.

Garewal says the timing could not be better for the chamber to play a more active role on an issue that hits hard locally, potentially harming Arizona’s robust economy. “Before, we served as an information highway and voiced our opinion to people,” says Garewal, who has led the chamber for three years. “Now, we’re going to do a little more.”

He says future plans tentatively call for the chamber to join or start a political action committee and hire a part-time lobbyist to rally support. Chamber members also would be trained to help make the case for reforms.

Chamber officials are working from a document that was passed by its public policy committee about three years ago, stitched together after a meeting with congressional leaders and staff members from Arizona. Outlined in the one-page proposal are the key reasons for a federal guest worker program and six tenants that such an effort should contain.

Jessica Pacheco, the committee’s chairwoman, says the policy seeks to move beyond the politics and heated rhetoric swirling about the issue and provide businesses with badly needed workers at a time when the labor market is wound tightly.

“What we wanted to do was bring some facts back into the conversation,” says Pacheco, an Arizona Public Service Co. executive. “The fact is that we need temporary workers to fill jobs in this country. We frankly don’t have enough bodies to do certain jobs.”

She says a guest worker program is not about amnesty or a path to citizenship—two thorny issues that often cloud the debate and prevent clear-headed measures from progressing. Pacheco also says that changes are needed to improve the system now, allowing employers to determine whether prospective employees are legal. “Any thoughtful business person in this country believes there is a need for a guest worker program,” Pacheco says. “It’s just good for business.”

AZ Business MagazineRay Gonzales, president of RBG Construction Co. in Glendale, says a guest worker program is long overdue and that the workers are vital to the industry and others statewide. “It would really hurt if we tried to get rid of these people instead of making it right for them,” adds Gonzales, whose decade-old company employs about 80 workers. “It’s a shame that we fail to recognize that immigrants bring success to whatever it is and wherever we are using them.”

In the end, Garewal believes long-awaited immigration reform—one with a guest worker program at its heart—will be passed into law in the near future. “I think we will come to an agreement in this country for systematic improvement,” he says. “It may take a couple of years to iron out the details, but it is going to happen. It has to happen.”

www.azhcc.com

 

 

 

Arizona Business Magazine Aug/Sept 2006

AZ Business Magazine Aug-Sept 2006 | Previous: Mi Casa Su Casa | Next: Majority-Minority