FARMINGTON —  Farmington Solar and Wanzek Construction Inc. have entered into a consent agreement with the state that requires the businesses to pay a $20,100 civil fine for soil erosion violations.

The Maine Board of Environmental Protection and Office of the Attorney General approved an agreement in September, according to state information.

Farmington Solar, a subsidiary of Nextera Energy Resources, owned and leased property in Farmington for the construction of a 77-megawatt solar facility. Wanzek Construction was the lead construction company for the project.

The project is built on property owned by the Bussie York family off state Route 27 and U.S. Route 2 in Farmington. The property was leased to help preserve the family farm.

Farmington Solar and Wanzek Construction have reached a consent agreement with the state to pay a $20,100 civil penalty for soil erosion violations at the solar project shown in 2021 on property owned by Bussie York of Sandy River Farms at 560 Farmington Falls Road in Farmington. Farmington Solar, a subsidiary of Nextera Energy Resources, erected about 300,000 solar panels on 490 acres of rented property. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

As part of state Department of Environmental Protection order, the department approved the construction of a 490-acre, 77 megawatt solar facility that included 3,050 square feet of freshwater wetland fill and 6.8 acres of wetland clearing.

A third party inspector, Moyse Environmental Services, was approved to provide routine onsite inspections. After inspections in March, April and July in 2021, Moyse Environmental Services reported to the DEP that Farmington Solar and Wanzek Construction had not taken appropriate measures to prevent measurable erosion of soils from the site due to erosion control failures, according to a state report.


“Such erosion led to sediment entering the surrounding forested wetland and a stream. By failing to control the movement of sediments on the project site, Farmington Solar and Wanzek Construction violated” a special and standard condition of the DEP order as well as the Natural Resources Protection Act, and the Location of Development Act, according to the consent agreement.

By conducting or causing to be conducted an activity that involves filling, displacing, or exposing soil or other earthen materials without preventing unreasonable erosion of soil or sediment beyond the project site or into a protected natural resource, Farmington Solar and Wanzek Construction violated the Erosion and Sedimentation Control law, according to the agreement.

Discharging a pollutant, namely soil, to the waters of the state without first obtaining a license from the department, Farmington Solar and Wanzek Construction violated the Protection and Improvement of Waters law, the document states.

Moyse Environmental Services and DEP staff noted that numerous ditches, level lip spreaders, and culverts were installed to manage site conditions due to precipitation and snowmelt.

On June 16, 2021, a minor amendment application was submitted to address construction of the additional stormwater structures.

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