U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


Document Type


Date of this Version

Fall 2004


Published in REMEDIATION Autumn 2004.


In areas of the country where the U.S. Department of Energy has classified the available wind resources as Class 3 or greater, the use of wind turbines to provide power to relatively small remediation systems such as groundwater circulation wells may be technically and economically feasible. Groundwater circulation wells are a good candidate technology to couple with renewable energy, because the remediation system removes contamination from the subject aquifer with no net loss of the groundwater resource, while the wind turbine does not create potentially harmful air emissions. Wind data collected in the vicinity of the former Nebraska Ordnance Plant Superfund site were used to select a wind turbine system to provide a portion of the energy necessary to power a groundwater circulation well located in an area of high trichloroethylene groundwater contamination. Because utility power was already installed at the remediation system, a 10 kW grid inter-tie wind turbine system supplements the utility system without requiring batteries for energy storage. The historical data from the site indicate that the quantity of energy purchased correlates poorly with the quantity of groundwater treated. Preliminary data from the wind turbine system indicate that the wind turbine provides more energy than the remediation system treatment components and the well submersible pump require on a monthly average. The preliminary results indicate that the coupling of wind turbines and groundwater circulation wells may be an attractive alternative in terms of the system operation time, cost savings, and contaminant mass removal.