SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any special or general law to the contrary, the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce shall hereby be authorized to engage forthwith in a pilot program for the purposes of operating as a distribution company customer, as defined in c. 164 sec. 139 (b); provided further, said pilot program shall evaluate economic development, job growth, and other benefits to manufacturers located in the Commonwealth; provided further, said pilot program shall be under the jurisdiction of the department of public utilities and shall be only subject to the caps, limits and restrictions, including eligibility for participation in the Commonwealth’s Net Metering and Solar Carve-Out Renewable Generation programs, as those placed upon municipalities or other governmental entities under Section 138 of Chapter 164 of the General Laws and Section 139 of Chapter 164 of the General Laws; and, provided further, said pilot shall not exceed a duration of 25 years from the start thereof.
SECTION 2. The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce shall deliver to the department of public utilities an interim report of the results of said pilot program not later than forty-eighty months after implementation of such, detailing the efficacy of the pilot in expanding net metering to manufacturers; provided further, said report shall demonstrate the effect of said net metering upon the cost of electricity for manufacturers; and, provided further, said report shall make a recommendation to the department of public utilities whether to expand said pilot.
SECTION 3. If, upon the completion of said pilot program and review of North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce’s interim report, the department of public utilities recommends expansion of the program to the Legislature, the department of public utilities shall develop and submit draft legislation to the Legislature intended to lower the cost of electricity for the Commonwealth’s manufacturers in accordance with all existing applicable laws and
regulations; and, provided further, that said program shall not exceed the parameters set by this Act.
SECTION 4. The department shall immediately apply its existing Class III Net Metering Facility rules and regulations, under 220 CMR 18.00, to the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce as necessary to carry out this Act. Nothing in this subsection shall limit the department’s authority to adopt rules and regulations relating to other net metering policies and initiatives.
SECTION 5. This law shall expire December 31, 2038.
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