Two new articles are covering  the NBAF  power plant development (bottom of post). One from Kansas and  one from Athens. I still do not have any confirmation for N.C., I contacted four different sources Friday, March 14th  after the story broke and as of this posting no additional information is available. 

However, consider this quote made by Amy Kudwa;

“DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said a utility plant, much like supporting infrastructure such as land and roads, has been a requirement of the NBAF facility from the start”.

 It is quite ambiguous and despite the above comment from DHS,  documents made available from the Scoping Meeting  and the NC  consortium contain no language  requiring a “stand alone utility plant” in NC  for the National Bio Agro Defense Facility. In fact, the material states that “power is supplied by Duke Energy Corporation and that quote “would be able to provide any load demand to the NBAF”.

Consider this from the  DHS Scoping Meeting Material – Page 23 of 27 


A major interstate highway (Interstate 85) is within three miles of the site, and connects with Interstates 40 and 95. Service spurs for the Norfolk-Southern Railroad exist in Butner, approximately three miles south. The Raleigh-Durham International airport is less than 25 miles away, and the Piedmont-Triad International airport is just over an hour drive from the proposed site. Public safety is managed by the NC Department of Crime Control & Public Safety, which offers the formidable resources of state-level security and protection to the NBAF site.

Power is supplied by Duke Energy Corporation (also supplies power to the Research Triangle Park), and would be able to provide any load demand to the NBAF. Natural gas is supplied by Public Service Company of North Carolina, a regulated public utility serving over 400,000 customers throughout a 28-county area.


Hopefully in the days to come the information will be more forth coming. At this point I am still of the opinion this requirement evolved from the Environmental Impact Study. Also from the available information building a stand alone power plant for the NBAF  would require it’s own EIS, land-use planning/study  as well as a vigorous permit process.

Here are the new articles covering the development.

Requirements added to defense lab plan– LJ

— The federal biodefense lab sought by Kansas will need its own electric power and wastewater systems, presumably at state taxpayer expense, state officials said Friday.

The Department of Homeland Security has told states vying for the $451 million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to commit to providing dedicated utility plants to keep the lab, which will be handling extremely dangerous substances, self-contained, officials said.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said the decision by DHS was a new requirement. She said she would be talking next week with a key DHS leader to determine whether there will be any “additional wrinkles.”

“There was a number thrown out by the feds that we think is just wrong for Kansas,” she said. She said DHS has required that the electric power be gas-generated.

House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, said the Legislature will work on a bill to address DHS’ concerns.

Kansas is conducting an all-out press for the facility, which will focus on research related to animal and plant diseases and potential bio-threats to the nation’s food supply.

Six sites, including Kansas State University in Manhattan, are in the running for the lab. Homeland Security is scheduled to pick a location in the fall.

The other sites in contention are Athens, Ga.; San Antonio; Granville County, N.C.; Madison County, Miss.; and an existing lab at Plum Island, N.Y.

DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said a utility plant, much like supporting infrastructure such as land and roads, has been a requirement of the NBAF facility from the start.

‘Utility plant’ part of planning for biodefense facility   – Online
‘New wrinkle’ to some

TOPEKA, Kan. – The federal government has told states hoping to attract a new national biodefense laboratory that their proposed sites must include a separate power plant, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said.

“That creates a new wrinkle,” Sebelius said Friday during a news conference.

But U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials indicated they’re not requiring a plant for generating electricity at the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility, but a standard utilities plant that also includes water and steam, hooked into an existing electric grid.

“A utility plant, much like supporting infrastructure such as land, roads, grading and parking, has been a requirement … dating back to site visits last fall,” spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said.

Athens and Manhattan, Kan., are competing with sites in North Carolina, Texas and Mississippi for the $451 million lab, where researchers will study hoof-and-mouth, other animal diseases and emerging tropical diseases that spread from animals to humans that federal officials believe could be used in a terrorist attack. It would replace an aging facility at Plum Island, N.Y.

“All the five sites have received an identical letter which added to the mix, for the first time, the notion that you needed a separate power-generating facility,” Sebelius said during a news conference. “It’s news to everyone.”

Georgia officials, including spokesmen for the University of Georgia, Gov. Sonny Perdue and U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, said Homeland Security hasn’t asked Georgia to build a power plant as far as they know.

Plans for NBAF call for a central utilities plant, but Athens-Clarke County only has been asked to provide infrastructure for sewer and water service, not electricity, at a 66-acre UGA-owned site off South Milledge Avenue, Athens-Clarke Manager Alan Reddish said.

UGA’s point man on recruiting NBAF, Vice President for Research David Lee, was out of town and unavailable to answer questions, Office of Research spokeswoman Terry Hastings said.


But in Texas, Allison Castle, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry, said the federal government’s requirement “doesn’t come as a surprise.”

“Infrastructure support, including power, has been a critical part of this from the beginning,” she said.

Sebelius said Kansas officials learned of the requirement after meeting with Homeland Security officials late last month. She said the topic did not come up in their meetings.

Sarah Little, a spokesman for Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, said he’s also aware of the additional requirement and is working with state officials and members of the state’s congressional delegation.

“He is confident that the merits continue to be on our side and that the efforts put forth by the state will continue to demonstrate without a doubt Kansas’ continued commitment to bringing this new facility and jobs to the state,” she said.

Sebelius said she doesn’t know how much building a new power plant would cost but officials have started work on a proposal. Senators plan to meet next week to discuss the issue, said Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Sebelius ally.

“Part of the question, I think, that can be legitimately asked by legislators and others is, what else is going to come up?” Sebelius said. “We’re going to follow up and I’m going to try to make the determination of whether or not this is their best and final offer.”

The proposed Kansas site is on the Kansas State University campus in Manhattan. Last week, Sebelius signed a bill allowing up to $2 million in subsidies for airline service to the regional airport, a measure designed in part to make Kansas’ proposal on NBAF more attractive.

Kansas House Speaker Melvin Neufeld said officials in Kansas and other states could have anticipated such a requirement from the federal government.

“Anyone involved in that knew there was going to have to be self-sustaining utilities, not only a power plant but water and sewage also,” Neufeld said. “I think maybe the frustrating point may be who has to pay for it. I think it’s negotiable