(1) The Secretary, in consultation with the Commission, shall conduct a study with respect to—
(A) the level of reliability appropriate to adequately serve the needs of electric consumers, taking into account cost effectiveness and the need for energy conservation,
(B) the various methods which could be used in order to achieve such level of reliability and the cost effectiveness of such methods, and
(C) the various procedures that might be used in case of an emergency outage to minimize the public disruption and economic loss that might be caused by such an outage and the cost effectiveness of such procedures.
Such study shall be completed and submitted to the President and the Congress not later than 18 months after November 9, 1978. Before such submittal the Secretary shall provide an opportunity for public comment on the results of such study.
(2) The study under paragraph (1) shall include consideration of the following:
(A) the cost effectiveness of investments in each of the components involved in providing adequate and reliable electric service, including generation, transmission, and distribution facilities, and devices available to the electric consumer;
(B) the environmental and other effects of the investments considered under subparagraph (A);
(C) various types of electric utility systems in terms of generation, transmission, distribution and customer mix, the extent to which differences in reliability levels may be desirable, and the cost-effectiveness of the various methods which could be used to decrease the number and severity of any outages among the various types of systems;
(D) alternatives to adding new generation facilities to achieve such desired levels of reliability (including conservation);
(E) the cost-effectiveness of adding a number of small, decentralized conventional and nonconventional generating units rather than a small number of large generating units with a similar total megawatt capacity for achieving the desired level of reliability; and
(F) any standards for electric utility reliability used by, or suggested for use by, the electric utility industry in terms of cost-effectiveness in achieving the desired level of reliability, including equipment standards, standards for operating procedures and training of personnel, and standards relating the number and severity of outages to periods of time.