I have an answer for the city of Augusta regarding the I-95 cloverleaf solar arrays: Bring the Department of Transportation to court (“State transportation officials vow better communication in wake of contentious interstate solar project in Augusta,” Dec. 6).

Regardless of how the project was conceptualized, bid and communicated during the height of COVID-19 protocols, the fact is the DOT has no authorization to contract power projects on its land holdings. Statues supporting the DOT had to be amended to allow bike lanes and salt sheds to be constructed and likewise the DOT should have gone to the Legislature to expand its powers to build solar projects.

Placing these projects front and center after the city had taken steps to limit public view of such installations is an affront to taxpayers and the ratepayers that are already reeling from the lucrative long-term deals that the net metering rules allow for sub-5MW installations. A closer look at the poor condition of Western Ave. and Civic Center Drive I-95 bridges is a testament to how the DOT is side-tracked. How much more will those projects cost without space for construction.


Mark Daigle


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