Seadrift uses wind to power electricity bill savings

Sara  Sneath By Sara Sneath

Dec. 17, 2016 at 10:33 p.m.
Updated Dec. 18, 2016 at 6 a.m.

The city of Seadrift cut its wastewater and water treatment plants' electricity bills in half by installing wind turbines.

In 2009, the city was considering increasing utility rates to offset the increasing cost of operating its wastewater treatment plant, said Seadrift Mayor Elmer DeForest.

But DeForest found that the city could use a grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to fund $550,000 of the $750,000 cost to install a 100-kilowatt wind turbine. The city was able to knock another $189,100 off the price tag with a Community Development Block Grant.

The turbine was installed in 2012. And, within a year, the city made back the $10,500 out-of-pocket cost in savings on its wastewater treatment plant electricity bill.

Before the turbine's installation, the city spent between $2,500 and $3,000 every month on the plant's electricity bill. That bill was cut in half after the turbine installation.

By fall 2014, the city had installed another 100-kilowatt wind turbine to power its water treatment plant. Again, the bulk of the cost of the turbine's installation was paid for by a grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

That turbine, too, paid the city's cost off within a year.

"It took a little bit of work, but we looked at the amount that would be saved," DeForest said. "The council was for it."


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