Seadrift is a city located on the Texas Gulf Coast with a population of 1,364 people as of the 2010 U.S. Census. In 2012, the city started operating a $610,878 wind turbine, dedicated to its wastewater treatment plant. The city contributed only 3% of the funds for the project, with the balance from state agencies or the state of Texas. The city hoped to save $25,500 yearly using wind energy to displace some of the plant’s electrical demand. The plant’s average load is 0.05 million gallons per day, requiring 236,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh; 8.05×108 British thermal units [BTU]) yearly. From 2012 to 2015, Seadrift saved $15,928 per year, with yearly wind energy production of 155,738 kWh (5.31×108 BTU) and net present value of $211,493 at the city level. Yet, the project’s applicability to other locations is limited. Indeed, when considering the project’s total cost and return, the economic results, driven by a lower than predicted wind speed, are negative. Still, the study serves as a valuable tool to aid government agencies and rural communities in devising alternative and sustainable solutions to water-energy nexus challenges in Texas and beyond.
© 2021 Ange H. Abena Mbarga, Ken Rainwater, Lianfa Song, Theodore Cleveland, and W. Ross Williams. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.Download PDF