SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, the department of energy resources shall investigate the necessity, benefits and costs of requiring distribution companies, as defined in section 1 of chapter 164 of the General Laws, to jointly and competitively conduct additional offshore wind generation solicitations and procurements of up to approximately 2,800 megawatts of aggregate nameplate capacity, in addition to the solicitations and procurements required by section 83C of chapter 169 of the acts of 2008, as amended by chapter 188 of the acts of 2016, and section 21 of chapter 227 of the acts 2018 and shall require said additional solicitations and procurements by December 31, 2035; provided, however, that for said solicitations and procurements, as outlined in this section, the department of energy resources may also require distribution companies to jointly and competitively solicit and procure proposals for offshore wind energy transmission sufficient to deliver energy generation procured pursuant to this section from designated wind energy areas for which a federal lease was issued on or after January 1, 2012 that may be developed independent of such offshore wind energy generation; provided further, that such transmission service shall be made available for use by more than 1 wind energy generation project and shall not exceed the generation capacity authorized by this section; provided further, that any selection of offshore wind energy transmission shall be the most cost-effective mechanism for procuring reliable, low-cost offshore wind energy transmission service for ratepayers in the commonwealth.
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