Topeka 4:20 p.m.
Legislation containing $32 million for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility to be built in Kansas is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk for his signature.
The funding is part of the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill that was approved Tuesday by the Senate.
“I appreciate the bipartisan effort in Congress and the hard work of the Department of Homeland Security for ensuring this essential funding will help NBAF break ground in 2010,” Gov. Mark Parkinson said.
The bill also requires a study of the potential dangers of the planned 520,000-square-foot facility, which is proposed to be built at Kansas State University and be used to research deadly diseases and bio-terrorism threats.
Kansas has been passed by Illinois in wind energy capacity, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
AWEA’s third quarter report for 2009 shows that Illinois recently added 201 megawatts of wind energy, giving it a total of 1,116 megawatts. Kansas is ranked 10th in the nation with 1,014 megawatts.
The total wind power capacity in the U.S. is over 31,000 megawatts, which is enough electricity to power nearly 9 million homes, avoiding the emissions of 57 million tons of carbon per year and reducing expected carbon emissions from the electricity sector by 2.5 percent, AWEA reported.
“Wind power installations are up, and that is good news for America’s economy, environment, and energy security,” said AWEA chief executive officer Denise Bode.
“But manufacturing, which has the potential to employ many more Americans in good, clean energy jobs, remains uncertain,” he said. “A firm, long-term national commitment to renewable energy is still needed for the U.S. to become a wind turbine manufacturing powerhouse and create hundreds of thousands of jobs,” Bode said.