Eversource: MAGridMod@eversource.com
National Grid: Future.Grid@nationalgrid.com
Unitil: ESMP-Feedback@unitil.com

Delivered electronically

Dear Electric Sector Modernization Planners,

On behalf of all 351 cities and towns across the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association writes to express our appreciation for the extensive Electric Sector Modernization Planning (ESMP) efforts put forth by you and your teams.

The ESMPs relay a helpful overview of the significant grid modernization upgrades and associated necessary requirements to help meet the Commonwealth’s electrification and climate goals. These infrastructure investments will support increased load to the electric grid that will come with additional use of electricity, predominantly through distributed energy resources, electric transportation, and electric heating.

We appreciate your thoughtful consideration of the implications of the clean energy transition and your prioritization of safety, resilience, equity, and community engagement. As we step boldly into a new energy future, the following priorities must remain an essential focus:

Partnership with Local Officials
Strong partnerships with stakeholders will be foundational to the historic task of transitioning to clean energy. As the representative of municipal governments in this work, the MMA appreciates the opportunity to provide input through this comment period and the electric distribution company-led stakeholder feedback sessions. We welcome the opportunity to further engage through existing channels and through continued stakeholder groups as the process continues.

Prioritizing the Municipal Perspective
Centering the local government perspective throughout this modernization process will be integral to its success. Municipal officials and their staff have deep experience working with residents and responding to concerns about utility work and infrastructure projects. Cities and towns will be key partners over the coming years as the Commonwealth rapidly transitions toward a more resilient electric system. As municipal police and fire departments are often on the front lines in responding to emergencies, it is crucial that municipalities across the state have reliable, consistent information to keep personnel safe while protecting residents and businesses from harm.

Promoting Efficiency While Protecting Local Voices
Finally, healthy, trusting relationships between electric distribution companies and municipalities will be critical to ensuring effective and efficient processes for siting, permitting, community engagement, and safeguarding natural resources. While we share your goal in reducing unnecessary administrative burdens, we must stress the importance of protecting the local authority and voice. This will be vital to safeguard the top priority for each municipality — the safety of its residents.

Thank you very much for your attention to municipal interests and we look forward to continuing to work with you all in this important work. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your office contact me or MMA Legislative Analysts Adrienne Núñez or Josie Ahlberg at any time.


Adam Chapdelaine
MMA Executive Director and CEO