SECTION 1. The Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in consultation with the Department of Public Utilities and the Department of Telecommunications and Energy, shall, initially by not later than 1 year following the passage of this act, and every three years thereafter, conduct an assessment of the infrastructure serving the commonwealth for the transmission and distribution of electricity (infrastructure), based on the demand estimates contained in the energy plan required by executive order 569. Said assessment shall include factors including, but not limited to;
1. The capacity of current infrastructure to meet current and projected demand for electricity.
2. The reliability of the infrastructure to deliver electricity, particularly with regard to adverse weather events and periods of peak demand.
3. The ability of the infrastructure to accommodate the input of electricity from renewable sources, including distributed generation and storage, in a timely, efficient, and effective manner.
4. Any and all identifiable current and foreseeable vulnerabilities of the infrastructure .
SECTION 2. The secretary, in consultation with the department of public utilities, the department of telecommunications and energy, and the massachusetts clean energy center, shall, based on the assessment produced pursuant to the provisions of section 1, and within nine months following the completion of each such assessment, develop a plan to ensure that the infrastructure described in section 1 has the ability to meet the demand for electricity in the commonwealth reliably, cost-effectively, and with sufficient capacity. Said plan shall incorporate and detail any and all policy, regulatory, statutory, and other actions necessary to achieving these goals in a timely manner, while minimizing, to the greatest extent possible, costs to consumers, and disruptions to existing service. Said actions may include, but not be limited to:
1. Requirements for the submission and approval of infrastructure upgrade plans by utilities on an annual or other periodic basis.
2. Requirements for the development and approval of necessary studies and plans for the interconnection to energy sources, including storage, within a specified time frame.
3. Recommendations for relevant state investment or other financing mechanisms.
4. Modified or additional standards or requirements for electric service providers in the commonwealth.
5. Any and all other relevant actions, measures, or requirements.
The development of said plan shall include not less than three public hearings in geographically diverse regions of the state, and consultation with stakeholders including but not limited to, utility entities serving the commonwealth, environmental organizations in the commonwealth, consumer advocacy organizations in the commonwealth, organizations representing organized labor, suppliers of electricity to Massachusetts consumers, and, to the extent possible, the Independent Systems Operator for New England. Said plan shall be filed, not less than ninety days before any action contained in the plan is initiated, with the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities, and Energy, and the clerks of the House and Senate, whom shall post it electronically for public inspection.
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