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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Tuesday, January 31, 2006, at 12:30 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 January 30, 2006. 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.
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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 COMMISSION MEETING
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
1. EL06-002 In the Matter of the Application by Otter Tail Power Company on Behalf of Seven Regional Utilities for a Permit to Construct 5.45 Miles of 230 kV Transmission Line, 33 Miles of 345 kV Transmission Line, the Big Stone 345 kV Substation and Modification of the Big Stone 230 kV Substation (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle and Martin Bettmann, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On January 17, 2006, the Commission received an application from Otter Tail Power Company on behalf of seven regional utilities (Applicants) - Otter Tail Power Company, Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, Great River Energy, Heartland Consumers Power District, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency, and Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (as represented by Missouri River Energy Services) for a permit to construct transmission lines and associated facilities in Grant and Deuel County in South Dakota. The applicants seek a Construction Permit designating a route and authorizing construction of three new transmission lines in South Dakota. Two lines would be constructed to 230 kV standards and would run from the Big Stone 230 kV Substation to a new Big Stone 345 kV Substation, with one 230 kV line continuing on to the Morris Substation near Morris, Minnesota, a distance of approximately 48 miles. Approximately 5.45 miles of new 230 kV line would be built in South Dakota. The third line would be constructed for future 345 kV operation but initially be operated at 230 kV and would run from the new Big Stone 345 kV Substation to the Granite Falls Substation in Granite Falls, Minnesota, a distance of approximately 90 miles, 33 miles of which are in South Dakota. In addition, modification of the existing Big Stone 230 kV Substation and existing transmission facilities and construction of a new Big Stone 345 kV Substation will also be required as part of the project.
TODAY, shall the Commission Assess a Filing Fee not to Exceed $102,500 with an Initial Deposit of $8,000?
2. EL06-003 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of Changes to Assigned Service Areas due to the Merger of McCook Electric Cooperative, Inc. into Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analysts: Martin Bettmann and Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On January 18, 2006, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Southeastern) has requested that the Commission transfer the existing territorial Agreements of McCook Electric Cooperative, Inc. (McCook) to Southeastern. Effective January 1, 2006, McCook has merged into Southeastern.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Territorial Transfer?
1. NG05-016 In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. a Division of MDU Resources Group, Inc. for Approval of Natural Gas Conservation Programs and Conservation Tracking Adjustment. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson and Steve Wegman, Staff Attorney: Sara Greff)
Application of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for approval of natural gas conservation programs, including Conservation Starter Kits, On-Line Energy Audits, and certain rebates and incentives for customers purchasing certain high efficiency appliances and devices. The application also requests approval of a cost recovery mechanism designed to recover both program costs and lost distribution revenues resulting from lower consumption due to program implementation. This docket was considered by the Commission at its meeting on December 20, 2005, where action was deferred. On January 12, 2006, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. filed a revised program which would include only; 1. Customer Conservation Starter Kits; 2. High-Efficiency Furnace Incentives; and 3. Programmable Thermostat incentives. The Company also supplied updated information regarding its cost/benefit analysis.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Revised Natural Gas Conservation Program and Conservation Tracking Adjustment?
Application by MidAmerican Energy Company for approval of revisions to its Firm and Interruptible Monthly Metered Transportation Gas Pilot to allow customers to switch pool operators in any month of the year. Currently customers can only switch pool operators during the month of September. Customers would still have to stay with a pool operator for a minimum 12 month period but could change pool operators during any month.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Tariff Revisions?
1. TC05-060 In the Matter of the Filing by Midstate Telecom, Inc. for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On April 24, 2001, the Commission granted Midstate Telecom, Inc (Midstate) a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange services and granted Midstate a one year exemption from establishing company specific cost-based switched access rates. On April 2, 2002, Midstate filed for a three year exemption from filing cost-based switched access rates which was granted on May 16, 2002. On April 27, 2005, Midstate filed for a three year exemption from filing cost-based switched access rates and for approval of its intrastate switched access Tariff No. 1.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve Midstate Telecom's Exemption from Developing Company Specify Cost-Based Switched Access Rates? AND, Shall the Commission Deny Midstate Telecom's Intrastate Switched Access Tariff No. 1 and/or Approve an Alternate Rate?
2. TC05-101 In the Matter of the Application of CommPartners, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On July 8, 2005, CommPartners, LLC submitted an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange and interexchange services in South Dakota. CommPartners, LLC is in the process of building an Internet Protocol-based (IP) communications network for the provision of voice and data services. The network is designed to connect public and private IP networks with the Public Switched Telephone Network. The applicant intends to provide local service in the areas served by Qwest and interexchange services throughout South Dakota.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant a Certificate of Authority to CommPartners, LLC?
3. TC05-194 In the Matter of the Filing by Budget Phone, Inc. for Approval of its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff and for an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Sara Greff)
On November 21, 2005, Budget Phone, Inc. filed a petition for exemption from developing company specific cost-based switched access rates and for approval of its access service tariff. Budget Phone, Inc. is requesting approval to mirror the Qwest Corporation tariffed access rates in accordance with ARSD 20:10:27:12.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates for Budget Phone, Inc.? AND, shall the Commission Approve the Intrastate Switched Access Tariff?
4. TC05-224 In the Matter of the Filing by Trinsic Communications, Inc. for Approval of Its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff and for an Exemption From Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On December 23, 2005, Trinsic Communications, Inc. filed a petition for exemption from developing company specific cost-based access rates, waiver of ARSD 20:10:27:12 to allow the mirroring of Qwest Corporation tariffed access rates, waiver of billing and collection costs as set forth in ARSD 20:10:27:13, and waiver of ARSD 20:10:27:07 requiring the filing of a cost study at least every three years.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates for Trinsic Communications, Inc.? AND, shall the Commission Approve the Intrastate Switched Access Tariff?
1. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held February 28, 2006, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 468, at Pierre, South Dakota.
2. Commission meetings are scheduled for March 14 and April 11, 2006.
3. A hearing in docket CT05-001 will be held February 1 - 3, 2006, in Conference Room 3, Kneip Building, Pierre. The hearing will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 1, 2006.
4. The PUC offices will be closed Monday, February 20, 2006, in observance of Presidents' Day.
Heather K. Forney
Deputy Executive Director
January 24, 2006