The Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, located approximately 55 miles west of Phoenix, is SCPPA's first project which was financed through the participating members in 1981. It took twelve years to build and Palo Verde has been recognized as the largest power producer of any kind in the United States since 1992.
Because of its desert location, Palo Verde is the only nuclear plant in the United States that does not sit on a large body of water. Instead, it uses treated effluent from several area municipalities to meet its cooling water needs, recycling 20 billion gallons of wastewater each year.
In November, 2015, Palo Verde was named one of Power Magazines "Top Plants." Palo Verde was chosen for its use of wastewater and for being the only nuclear station to produce more than 30 million MWh in a year.
In 1981, SCPPA purchased a 5.91% interest in the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. Units 1, 2 and 3 of the Palo Verde Project began commercial operations in January 1986, September 1986, and January 1988, respectively.