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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Tuesday, February 8, 2005 at 1:30 P.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 468

Pierre, South Dakota

NOTE:  If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. on February 7, 2005. 

 

NOTE:  Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place.  If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.

 

AGENDA OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

 

Administration

 

1.   Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on January 25, 2005.  (Staff:  Tina Douglas.)

Consumer Issues

 

1.   Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission.  (Consumer Affairs:  Jim Mehlhaff)

 

Electricity

 

1.           EL04-039           In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Rights Exception between Xcel Energy, Inc. and Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. d/b/a Sioux Valley Energy.  (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

On December 14, 2004, Xcel Energy filed for Commission approval a Service Territory Exception  Agreement between Northern States Power Company, d/b/a Xcel Energy, Inc. and Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. d/b/a Sioux Valley Energy.  The agreement seeks an exception to the existing service territory near Sioux Falls, SD in order to provide for an efficient electrical connection to a SD DOT "Dynamic Message Board."  The sign is located within Xcel Energy's service territory, but because of proximity will be better connected to the Sioux Valley Energy's power system nearby.  The location of the sign is on the south side of I90 about 1.375 miles east of the intersection of I229 and I90 near Sioux Falls, SD located in the SW 1/4 of Section 25 of Mapleton Township 102N, Range 49W in Minnehaha County.  The agreement will automatically terminate upon removal or abandonment of the sign.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Service Rights Exception?

 


2.           EL05-002           In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Rights Exception between Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. d/b/a Sioux Valley Energy and Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc  (Staff Analyst:  Michele Farris,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

On January 13, 2005, Sioux Valley Energy filed for Commission approval an Agreement for Electric Service Territory Exception between Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (LREC), Rock Rapids, IA and Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. d/b/a Sioux Valley Energy (SVE).  The agreement seeks an exception to the existing service territory allowing LREC to serve a new customer in SVE's territory.  The new rural residential service is located in the West half of the Southwest quarter of the Southwest quarter of Section 32, Township 101 North, Range 47 West, in Minnehaha County, South Dakota.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Service Rights Exception?

 

Natural Gas

 

1.           NG05-001          In the Matter of the application by MidAmerican Energy and Xcel Energy for Abandonment of Facilities by Xcel Energy and Assumption of Facilities and Provision of Service by MidAmerican Energy Company.  (Staff Analyst:  Dave Jacobson,  Staff Attorney:  Karen Cremer)

 

Application of MidAmerican Energy to assume ownership of pipeline facilities currently owned by Xcel Energy and assume provision of service to customers served by those facilities. In Docket NG97-021, the Commission authorized Xcel Energy to operate an intrastate natural gas pipeline in South Dakota and approved rates, as well as terms and conditions for the provision of transportation service. Xcel currently serves five customers on these pipeline facilities. Xcel now wishes to abandon these facilities and MidAmerican wishes to assume ownership and operation of  these facilities resulting in uninterrupted service to the five existing customers. Xcel states that because no consideration is being received for this transaction, Commission approval is not required pursuant to SDCL 49-34A-35. However, pursuant to ARSD 20:10:13:38, Xcel is requesting to withdraw its tariff effective with the execution of the Abandonment and Assumption Agreement filed by Xcel with the Commission on December 17, 2004. Pursuant to ARSD 20:10:13:29, MidAmerican is requesting in this filing to initially adopt the currently effective rates of Xcel. MidAmerican is also requesting to immediately change the terms and conditions for service to currently effective MidAmerican tariffs, which requires approval pursuant to ARSD 20:10:13:29. MidAmerican is also requesting approval of this application with less than 30 days notice to the public pursuant to ARSD 20:10:13:20 given that MidAmerican has been in contact with the affected customers regarding these changes for considerably longer than 30 days.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant Xcel's Request to Withdraw Tariff Schedules upon Execution of the Abandonment and Assumption Agreement?  AND shall the Commission Approve MidAmerican's Request to Have Customers Transferred Immediately Upon Execution of the Abandonment and Assumption Agreement?  AND, shall the Commission Grant MidAmerican's Request to Change the Terms and Conditions of the newly acquired customers to currently effective MidAmerican tariffs? AND shall the Commission Grant Approval with less that 30 days notice?

 

Telecommunications

 

1.           TC01-098          In the Matter of Determining Prices for Unbundled Network Elements (UNES) in Qwest Corporation's Statement of Generally Available Terms (SGAT). (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)

 


On July 27, 2001, Qwest Corporation (Qwest) filed a petition for the purpose of determining Qwest's forward looking costs to be used in setting the prices for the elements and services contained in Qwest's Statement of Generally Available Terms (SGAT) and setting a scheduling conference for the purpose of adopting a procedural schedule for the orderly progression of this filing. Qwest filed its most recent South Dakota specific total element long run incremental cost (TELRIC) studies for those Unbundled Network Elements offered in Qwest's SGAT. Qwest is not generally seeking changes to those prices already established by this Commission in the AT&T Arbitration (TC96-184). Qwest recommends that this Commission declare those previously established prices to be Qwest's permanent TELRIC-based wholesale prices. For those services that were not addressed in previous pricing decisions of this Commission, Qwest offers its cost studies and supporting materials in support of the prices depicted in its filing. Qwest will not seek cost recovery for its Operations Support Systems until testing of said systems has been successfully completed. Qwest proposes a series of informal workshops to precede the preparation and filing of more formal positions of Staff and any other interested parties. At these workshops Qwest will explain and, if requested, provide "hands-on" assistance for the use of its Integrated Cost Model and other cost models. Following the workshop phase, Qwest then proposes that the case move to a more formal schedule that provides for direct and rebuttal testimony and an evidentiary hearing on those issues remaining after the informal workshop process is completed. AT&T was granted intervention on September 5, 2001.  The contract between the Commission and the consultant, QSI Consulting, expired on January 27, 2005.  Staff is requesting authorization to amend the contract by extending the duration of the contract, but not the contract amount.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Authorize the Extension of the Contract with QSI Consulting?

 

2.           TC05-017           In the Matter of the Request for a Confidentiality Determination in Accordance with ARSD 20:10:01:42 (Staff Analyst:  Keith Senger,  Staff Attorneys:  John Smith/Sara Greff)

 

On January 18, 2005, the Commission received a federal subpoena  from the South Dakota Local Exchange Carriers Association for production of documents in regards to S&S Communications.  Many of the  requested  documents  were either filed as confidential or were determined during the hearing in TC02-166 to warrant confidential treatment and have been held confidential by the Commission.  On January 31, 2005, Staff  filed a Motion for Determination of Release of Information Filed as Confidential requesting that the Commission make a determination that the information should no longer  be treated as confidential and should be released to LECA to comply with the federal subpoena.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Motion for Determination of Release of Information Filed as Confidential?

 

Administration

 

1.   In the Matter of a Contract with Fred Saffer & Associates, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson.)

 

Fred Saffer & Associates (Fred Saffer) performs consulting services for the Commission in the Williston Basin Interstate Pipeline Company proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Docket RP00-107-000.  The contract between the Commission and Fred Saffer expired August 12, 2004.  Staff is requesting authorization to enter into a new contract with the consultants.

 

TODAY, shall the Commission Authorize the Contract with Fred Saffer & Associates, Inc.?

 

Announcements

 

1.  The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held February 22, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 468, at Pierre, South Dakota.

2.   Commission meetings are scheduled for March 8 and April 12, 2005.

3.   A public meeting in docket EL04-041 will be held at CoCo's Restaurant in Groton, SD beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 3, 2005.

4.   A hearing in docket EL04-032 will be held at the Crossroads Hotel & Convention Center in Huron, SD beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 17, 2005.

5.   A hearing in docket EL04-016 will be held in Room 412, State Capitol Building, Pierre.  The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 21, 2005, and is scheduled through noon on Friday, March 25, 2005.

_____________________

Heather K. Forney

Deputy Executive Director

heather.forney@state.sd.us

February 1, 2005