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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting

Tuesday, October 4, 2005, at 10:30 A.M.

State Capitol Building, Room 412

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 October 3, 2005. The lines are limited and are given out on first come/first serve basis. Ultimately, if you wish to participate in the Commission Meeting and a line is not available you may have to appear in person.

NOTE: To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC's Web site and click on the LIVE button on the home page. The Commission meetings are archived on the PUC's Web site under the Commission Actions tab and then click on the LISTEN button on the page.

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.



1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on September 13, 2005. (Staff: Tina Douglas.)

Consumer Reports

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


1. CT05-001 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by WWC License LLC against Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., Vivian Telephone Company, Sioux Valley Telephone Company, Armour Independent Telephone Company, Bridgewater Canistota Independent Telephone Company and Kadoka Telephone Company Regarding Intercarrier Billings. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Rolayne Ailts Wiest)

On February 16, 2005, WWC License LLC (WWC) filed a complaint against Golden West Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. (Golden West), and Vivian Telephone Company, Sioux Valley Telephone Company, Union Telephone Company, Armour Independent Telephone Company, Bridgewater-Canistota Telephone Company and Kadoka Telephone Company (affiliated companies). On March 8, 2005, Golden West filed an Answer and Counterclaim. The procedural history of the parties' numerous motions, responses thereto and Commission's decisions thereon is set forth in the Commission's order of August 26, 2005. On September 7, 2005, WWC filed an Amended Complaint. The Amended Complaint requests a damages order against Golden West and its affiliates in the total amount of $935,974.13 for overpayments, transiting charges and InterMTA charges billed at intrastate rates, plus interest from June 1, 2005, less credits since June 1, 2005, double damages and attorney fees pursuant to SDCL 49-13-14.1. On September 8, 2005, the Commission issued its Order Setting Procedural Schedule. Golden West filed an Amended Answer and Amended Counterclaim on September 15, 2005. The Amended Counterclaim requests a damages order in favor of Golden West and against WWC for underpayment as a result of the improper and unadjusted InterMTA Factor, interest on all amounts found to be due and costs, disbursements and attorney's fees. The South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA) filed a Petition to Intervene on September 20, 2005.

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant Intervention to the South Dakota Telecommunications Association?


1. EL04-016 In the Matter of the Filing by Superior Renewable Energy LLC et al. against Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. Regarding the Java Wind Project. (Staff Analysts: Michele Farris and Keith Senger, Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Sara Greff)

On May 12, 2004, Superior Renewable Energy LLC (Superior) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Java LLC, filed a complaint requesting the Commission to settle a dispute regarding the long term purchase price of electricity generated from a Qualified Facility pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978. The Commission granted intervention to MDU on June 8, 2004. The Commission granted intervention to MidAmerican, NorthWestern, and Black Hills at its June 22, 2004, meeting. The Commission granted intervention to Xcel on August 17, 2004. By its Second Amended Order for and Notice of Procedural Schedule and Hearing dated January 5, 2005, the hearing in this matter was scheduled to begin on March 21, 2005. On March 21, 2005, the Commission issued an order continuing the hearing until the further notice from the Commission. The parties subsequently notified the Commission that they had failed to reach a settlement and requested the hearing be rescheduled. The Commission noticed the hearing for August 2, 2005. On July 21, 2005, Superior filed a Motion for Continuance, which the Commission granted on July 28, 2005. On August 18, 2005, the Commission issued a Second Order for and Notice of Hearing Following Continuance, setting the matter for hearing on November 2, 2005. On September 16, 2005, MDU filed a Deferral Motion requesting a continuance of the matter until FERC has released its decision in Alliant Energy Corporate Services, Inc. On September 27, 2005, Superior filed a Response to Deferral Motion and Request for Affirmative Relief requesting that the Commission deny MDU's Deferral Motion and grant affirmative relief in the form of an order finding that MDU has an existing obligation and/or contract pending approval under PURPA and thus is subject to PURPA's mandatory purchase obligation and an order to show cause why MDU is not in violation of its PURPA obligations.

TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Deferral Motion? AND, shall the Commission Issue an Order Finding that MDU has an Existing Obligation and/or Contract Pending Approval under PURPA and thus is Subject to PURPA's Mandatory Purchase Obligations? AND shall the Commission Issue an Order to Show Cause to MDU?

2. EL05-022 In the Matter of the Application by Otter Tail Power Company on behalf of Big Stone II Co-Owners for an Energy Conversion Facility Permit for the Construction of the Big Stone II Project. (Staff Analyst: Michele Farris, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On July 21, 2005, the Commission received an Application for a Construction Permit for an Energy Conversion Facility from Otter Tail Power Company on behalf of the Project co-owners; Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; Great River Energy; Heartland Consumers Power District; Montana Dakota Utilities Co., a Division of MDU Resources Group, Inc.; Otter Tail Corporation d/b/a Otter Tail Power Company; Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency; and Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency. The proposed Energy Conversion Facility is a nominal 600 MW coal-fired electric generating facility and associated facilities, which the Project co-owners have named Big Stone II, to be located on an industrial site adjacent to the existing Big Stone Plant unit I in Grant County, South Dakota. The intervention deadline is 60 days after the date the application is filed pursuant to ARSD 20:10:22:40. On August 25, 2005, Clean Water Action filed a Petition to Intervene. The South Dakota Chapter Sierra Club and Union of Concerned Scientists filed Applications for Party Status on September 16, 2005. On September 19, 2005, Applications for Party Status were filed by Mary Jo Stueve, Minnesotans for an Energy Efficient Economy, Izaak Walton League of America - Midwest Office, and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. Party Status was granted to all who filed at the September 27, 2005, commission meeting. On September 20, 2005, the Big Stone II Local Review Committee filed a request for $47,959 from the Commission in order to hire a consultant to assist in carrying out the review committee's responsibilities by the February 21, 2006, deadline.

TODAY. shall the Commission Grant the Local Review Committee's Request for $47,959 in Order to Hire a Consultant?

Natural Gas

1. NG05-007 In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Continuation of the IGSPP. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Sara Greff)

Application by MidAmerican Energy to Continue its Incentive Gas Supply Procurement Program (IGSPP). This program was initially approved by the Commission for a three-year period in 1995, and was approved with modifications for a second three-year period in 1999, and a third three-year period in 2002. This filing proposes to further extend application of the plan, without modification, to be effective for a five-year period through October 31, 2010. The IGSPP compares actual gas supply costs to a benchmark and allows for a sharing of the difference between ratepayers and MidAmerican Energy.

TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Continuation of MidAmerican's IGSPP?

2. NG05-011 In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy for Approval of a Refund Plan. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Sara Greff)

NorthWestern Corporation=s gas tariff requires that for any refund in excess of $500,000, the company must submit a refund plan for review and approval by the Commission. In this filing, NorthWestern is requesting Commission approval of a refund plan for a $958,629.26 refund received from Northern Natural Gas Company. NorthWestern proposes to credit the Company's Adjustment Clause demand true-up in the sum of $879,025.41 and the Company's Adjustment Clause commodity true-up in the sum of $79,603.85. The filing states that by using these Adjustment Clause true-up mechanisms, the refund dollars will be returned to customers, with interest payable by the Company, over the next 12-month period through the normal purchased gas adjustment monthly filings process.

TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Refund Plan?


In the Matter of Potential Revisions and/or Additions to the Commission's Switched Access Rules Codified in ARSD 20:10:27 through 20:10:29

In petitions for intervention filed by interexchange carriers in all of the switched access revenue requirement dockets pending before the Commission, petitioners alleged deficiencies in the cost study methodologies embodied in the Commission's rules as applied by local exchange carriers. Petitioners indicated in their filings that their concerns involve industry-wide policy issues, such as the proper regulatory treatment of investments in joint-use plant serving both regulated and unregulated services. Petitioners suggested that a rule-making proceeding might be the appropriate mechanism for consideration of these issues of general applicability. Staff has placed this matter on the agenda so that the Commission can consider whether a rule-making docket should be opened at this time to consider revisions or additions to the Commission's switched access rules and, if so, what the scope of that proceeding should be.

TODAY, shall the Commission Open a Rule-Making Docket?


1. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held November 1, 2005, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 412, at Pierre, South Dakota.

2. Commission meetings are scheduled for December 6 and 20, 2005.

3. A hearing in docket EL04-016 will be held November 2 - 4, 2005, in Room 412, State Capitol Building, Pierre. The hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2005.

4. A hearing in docket CT05-001 will be held November 7 - 9, 2005, in Room 412, State Capitol Building, Pierre. The hearing will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 7, 2005.

Heather K. Forney

Deputy Executive Director

September 28, 2005