SECTION 1. This Act shall be entitled the “Renewable Energy Investment Act”, and shall be construed in a manner to achieve its public purposes, which are to encourage the development of clean, renewable, electric generating plants and ancillary facilities powered by clean technology, ensure that such facilities are sited in appropriate locations based on clear, predictable, and protective environmental, cultural and historic resource standards.
SECTION 2. There is hereby established a special renewable energy investment commission to consist of 2 members of the senate, 1 of whom shall be the senate chair for the joint committee on telecommunication and energy who shall serve as co-chair, and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the senate minority leader; 2 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be the house chair for the joint committee on telecommunication and energy who shall serve as co-chair, and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the house minority leader; 3 persons to be appointed by the governor, 1 of whom shall be a executive of an electric or distribution company, and 1 of whom shall be a representative of a consumer advocacy organization, and 1 of whom shall be nationally recognized renewable energy policy and financing professional based in the Commonwealth; and the commissioner of energy resources or a designee; the secretary of energy and environmental affairs or a designee, a representative of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, a representative of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership who shall serve as co-chair, a representative of Environment Northeast, a representative of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a representative of the New England Independent System Operator, and a representative of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, for the purpose of making an investigation and study relative to the impact of chapter 164 of the acts of 1997 (an act relative to the restructuring of the electric utility industry in the commonwealth), chapter 114 of the acts of 2008 (the oceans act of 2008), chapter169 of the acts of 2008 (an act relative to green communities) chapter 206 of the acts of 2008 (the clean energy biofuels act), chapter 298 of the acts of 2008 (the global warming solutions act), and Chapter 307 of the acts of 2008 (the green jobs act), collectively hereinafter referred to as “the energy acts,” and any and all substantive and technical amendments to the energy acts, with regard to the energy acts collective and respective impact on residential and commercial rates through 2020, taking into account renewable energy initiatives existing in the states that geographically border the Commonwealth, including the cost of transmission required to transport renewable energy in order to meet the Commonwealth’s renewable portfolio standard, and taking into account benefits including but not limited to the avoidance or reduction of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, energy reliability, security and diversification, and detriments including but not limited to the impact on ecologically sensitive areas, large unfragmented habitat blocks, priority or estimated habitats for plant and animal species listed pursuant to chapter 131A, populations of bird and bat species that are considered by the department of fish and game as being vulnerable to impacts from the operation of wind turbines, historic, cultural, or scenic or recreational areas of special federal or state significance, noise and public safety. The commission should illustrate and analyze the rate payer impact of introducing existing, large-scale hydro-electricity, generated within and outside the Commonwealth’s borders, as a renewable resource qualified to meet the class 1 renewable portfolio standard requirement in the Commonwealth. The commission shall report the results of its investigation and study and its recommendations, if any, together with a detailed description and chart of the residential and commercial rate impact of acquiring electricity for renewable resources, including the relative impact on residential and commercial electricity and tax rates of state and federal renewable energy funding, grants and other incentive programs, including net metering relative to each service territory within the Commonwealth, and short and long term projections though 2020 of private sector investment in renewable energy generation faculties in the Commonwealth, along with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect by filing the same with the clerks of the senate and the house of representatives on or before September 1, 2011. Members of the commission shall not receive compensation for their services but may receive reimbursement for the reasonable expenses incurred in carrying out their responsibilities as members of the commission. The commission shall convene no later than 30 days after the effective date of this act.
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