Water Constraints in an Electric Sector Capacity Expansion Model

Jordan Macknick, Stuart Cohen, Robin Newmark, Patrick Sullivan, Andrew Martinez, Vince Tidwell

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This analysis provides a description of the first U.S. national electricity capacity expansion model to incorporate water resource availability and costs as a constraint for the future development of the electricity sector. The Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model was modified to incorporate water resource availability constraints and costs in each of its 134 Balancing Area (BA) regions along with differences in costs and efficiencies of cooling systems. Scenarios analyzed include a business-as-usual scenario without water constraints as well as four scenarios that include water constraints and allow different cooling systems and types of water resources to be utilized. This analysis provides insight into where water resource constraints could affect the choice, configuration, or location of new electricity technologies.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages24
StatePublished - 2015

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-64270


  • consumption
  • cooling system
  • energy-water nexus
  • ReEDS
  • water
  • withdrawal


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