Section 72. (a) Any electric company, distribution company, generation company, or transmission company or any other entity providing or seeking to provide transmission service may petition the department for authority to construct and use or to continue to use as constructed or with altered construction a line for the transmission of electricity for distribution in some definite area or for supplying electricity to itself or to another electric company or to a municipal lighting plant for distribution and sale, or to a railroad, street railway or electric railroad, for the purpose of operating it, and shall represent that such line will or does serve the public convenience and is consistent with the public interest. The company shall forward at the time of filing such petition a copy thereof to each city and town within such area. The company shall file with such petition a general description of such transmission line and a map or plan showing the towns through which the line will or does pass and its general location. The company shall also furnish an estimate showing in reasonable detail the cost of the line and such additional maps and information as the department requires. The department, after notice and a public hearing in one or more of the towns affected, may determine that said line is necessary for the purpose alleged, and will serve the public convenience and is consistent with the public interest. If the electric company, distribution company, generation company or transmission company or any other entity providing or seeking to provide transmission service shall file with the department a map or plan of the transmission line showing the towns through which it will or does pass, the public ways, railroads, railways, navigable streams and tide waters in the town named in said petition which it will cross, and the extent to which it will be located upon private land or upon, under or along public ways and places, the department, after such notice as it may direct, shall give a public hearing or hearings in 1 or more of the towns through which the line passes or is intended to pass. The department may by order authorize an electric company, distribution company, generation company, or transmission company or any other entity to take by eminent domain under chapter 79 such lands, or such rights of way or widening thereof; or other easements therein necessary for the construction and use or continued use as constructed or with altered construction of such line along the route prescribed in the order of the department. The department shall transmit a certified copy of its order to the company and the clerk of each such town. The company may at any time before such hearing change or modify the whole or a part of the route of said line, either of its own motion or at the instance of the department or otherwise, and, in such case, shall file with the department maps, plans and estimates as aforesaid showing such changes. If the department dismisses the petition at any stage in said proceedings, no further action shall be taken thereon, but the company may file a new petition after the expiration of a year from such dismissal. When a taking under this section is effected, the company may forthwith, except as hereinafter provided, proceed to erect, maintain and operate thereon said line. If the company shall not enter upon and construct such line upon the land so taken within one year thereafter, its right under such taking shall cease and determine. No lands or rights of way or other easements therein shall be taken by eminent domain under the provisions of this section in any public way, public place, park or reservation, or within the location of any railroad, electric railroad or street railway company except with the consent of such company and on such terms and conditions as it may impose or except as otherwise provided in this chapter; and no electricity shall be transmitted over any land, right of way or other easement taken by eminent domain as herein provided until the electric company, distribution company, generation company, or transmission company or any other entity shall have acquired from the board of aldermen or selectmen or from such other authorities as may have jurisdiction all necessary rights in the public ways or public places in the town or towns, or in any park or reservation, through which the line will or does pass. No entity shall be authorized under this section or section 69R or section 24 of chapter 164A to take by eminent domain any lands or rights of way or other easements therein held by an electric company or transmission company to support an existing or proposed transmission line without the consent of the electric company or transmission company.
[There is no subsection (b).]