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Electric Sector Modernization Plan (ESMP) for Massachusetts

What is an ESMP?

With its Clean Energy Climate Plans, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has established aggressive clean energy targets aimed at transitioning to a decarbonized future. 

Last year Massachusetts passed “ An Act Driving Clean Energy and Offshore Wind” (Climate Law). The Climate Law requires each Electric Distribution Company to prepare an Electric Sector Modernization Plan (ESMP) that is transparent, proactively upgrades the distribution system, modernizes the grid and integrates more clean energy.  

In recognition of the critical role the electric distribution system plays in enabling clean energy and electrification over the next 25 years, we crafted our ambitious and detailed ESMP outlining critical steps we’ll take in the next five and 10 years, as well as a vision for the steps that will be needed to meet decarbonization targets by 2050.

Read our final Electric Sector Modernization Plan Read our ESMP summary

Our ESMP presents:

  • Our comprehensive distribution and technology plan to add system capacity that will support electrification, harden the distribution system to withstand impacts of major storms, and transition to advanced metering infrastructure to provide customers greater control over their energy use and costs.
  • A roadmap to inform future clean energy program designs and rate re-designs to build a reliable and resilient foundation that propels adoption of customer electrification and integration of clean energy resources.
  • Environmental, health and economic benefits of decarbonization and climate change mitigation.
  • An opportunity for stakeholders, customers and environmental justice communities to be engaged in the decision-making process as we enable clean energy in Massachusetts

How We’ll Execute

Over the five-year period beginning in 2025, we plan to invest $4.5 billion in electric operations and $1 billion in clean energy enablement.

We also plan to invest in new resiliency technology, annual grid operations and maintenance to continue providing safe and reliable service.

By 2034, these clean energy investments will allow for the adoption of 2.5 million electric vehicles and 1 million heat pumps across the Eversource service territory in Massachusetts. Additionally, these investments will enable 2.2 GW of new solar, resulting in 5.8 GW of solar hosting capacity.

Increases available electrification hosting capacity by 180% over the next decade. 

Supports the adoption of 2.5 million electric vehicles statewide, 60% of the state's 2050 goals. 

Allows for the adoption of 1 million heat pumps, 70% of the state's 2050 goal in our service territory.

Enables 5.8 GW of solar, exceeding the state's 2040 goals and reaching over 60% of the 2050 goals.

How our ESMP Benefits Customers

Beyond meeting the Commonwealth’s long term clean energy targets, our ESMP outlines tangible customer benefits, including:

  • Grid reliability, resiliency and safety.
  • Cost-effectively making the grid upgrades necessary to enable an increase in solar interconnections.
  • Enablement of transportation and heating electrification goals.
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.
  • Increased grid resiliency in environmental justice communities by proactively targeting these communities for enhanced grid upgrades to address future potential climate events.
  • Encouraging development of new tools and technology to enable greater control over energy use and costs.

Transparency and Stakeholder Input

As we transition to this cleaner future, proposed clean energy infrastructure investments must achieve both equity and clean energy objectives. We believe energy justice, affordability, and reliability goals can be accomplished simultaneously and that this balance will improve our collective success in achieving our shared clean energy goals.

We recognize engaging stakeholders early and often is necessary and that those potentially impacted by this transition deserve to play a role in energy discussions that affect their lives. Proactively soliciting feedback on these types of proposed projects will be paramount in ensuring successful outcomes for all.  

Outreach during the planning phase

We worked with the Grid Mod Advisory Council (GMAC) and the Equity Working Group prior to submitting our plan to the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to gather feedback from stakeholders to ensure that their viewpoints were heard and feedback on our draft ESMP was incorporated into the final plan submitted to the DPU in January 2024. 

In addition to the GMAC, Eversource conducted various types of stakeholder outreach around the development of our ESMP. Over the course of the last six months, Eversource has engaged in numerous meetings and held public presentations on our ESMP. 

Continued engagement

We are also establishing a Community Engagement Stakeholder Advisory Group (CESAG) with members of key community-based organizations who can help us prioritize the voices and lived experiences of our customers. The CESAG will allow for a structured opportunity for the electric utilities and community-based organization to jointly develop a statewide comprehensive stakeholder engagement framework that can be implemented prior to development of clean energy projects. 

Our customers, communities and stakeholders are important partners in developing and implementing our clean energy transition plans. We continue to build relationships and trust by listening, learning and incorporating your feedback into our planning process. Please submit any feedback, questions or comments to MAGridMod@eversource.com.

Workshops and Sessions

Workshops

We and the other Massachusetts electric distribution companies hosted workshops in the fall of 2023 for stakeholders to learn more about our ESMP and the transition to clean energy, and to hear firsthand from a broad range of stakeholders representing organizations and customers across the state. 

The workshops were virtually held sessions with clear agendas including presentations on key ESMP elements, followed by Q&A and structured discussion and feedback. 

Session one 

November 15 |  View presentation

Spanish | Mandarin | European Portuguese | Brazilian Portuguese

Session two 

November 28 | View presentation

Spanish | Mandarin | European Portuguese | Brazilian Portuguese

Workshop feedback

Key takeaways raised by stakeholders included:  

  • The need for a deliberate and equitable transition and meaningful engagement early and often. 
  • The need to maintain an affordable and reliable energy system.
  • The need to address challenges related to interconnecting to our electric power system.
  • The need for financial and technical support and to expand Mass Save programs to be more targeted and enable clean energy. 

Additional Technical Review Session 

The Massachusetts Technical Standards Review Group (TSRG) hosted an additional meeting for the electric utilities to review their ESMPs on a more technical and granular level with the TSRG, developers and anyone interested in further technical dialogue around our plans. See meeting materials.

Next Steps 

Following submission of our final ESMP to the DPU on January 29, 2024, we will take part in a thorough adjudicatory process including: 

  • Responding to information requests from the DPU and other parties through March 31.
  • Providing expert witness testimony at the DPU's evidentiary hearings from April 8 to 26. 
  • Hosting and participating in virtual information session and public comment hearings. 

Join the virtual information session

Tuesday, March 5 at 2 p.m. 

  • Join via Zoom.
  • For audio-only dial 1-646-558-8656 and enter webinar ID number 884-0403-4335. 

Join the virtual public comment hearings

March 7 at 7 p.m.

  • Join via Zoom.
  • For audio-only dial 1-646-558-8656 (not toll free), and enter webinar ID number 841-8765-4178.

March 12 at 2 p.m.

  • Join via Zoom.
  • For audio-only dial 1-646-931-3860 (not toll free), and enter webinar ID number 865-9493-5693.