Economic Analyses of the Seadrift Wind-Aided Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations
Texas Water Journal cover photo: Llano River with fisherman. ©2018 Ray Uherek.


renewable energy
water-energy nexus
wind energy


Seadrift is 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 operation of a $610,878 wind turbine, dedicated to its wastewater treatment plant. 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 kWh (8.05*108 BTU) yearly.  The paper details how Seadrift used manufacturer curves to predict turbine energy production, and how preliminary geotechnical, economic, and environmental analyses help design renewable energy projects. 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. This study shows how government agencies and rural communities can collaborate to find economically viable solutions to water-energy nexus challenges in Texas and beyond.

Citation: Mbarga AHA, Rainwater K, Song L, Theodore C, Williams WR. 2021. Economic Analyses of the Seadrift Wind-Aided Wastewater Treatment Plant Operations. Texas Water Journal. 12(1):42-57. Available from:
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Copyright (c) 2021 Ange Hilaire Abena Mbarga, Ken Rainwater, Lianfa Song, Theodore Cleveland, William Ross Williams