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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Thursday, October 19, 2006, at 8:30 A.M. MT, 9:30 A.M. CT
Board Room, Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn
505 N. Fifth St., Rapid City, 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 18, 2006. Lines are limited and are given out on first come/first serve basis, subject to possible reassignment to accommodate persons who must appear in a proceeding. 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 www.puc.sd.gov and click on the LIVE button on the home page. The Commission requests that persons who will only be listening to proceedings and not actively appearing in a case listen via the Web cast to free phone lines for those who have to appear. 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.
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING
1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on May 23, June 13, July 11, August 8, August 23, September 12, and September 26, 2006, and Ad Hoc Meetings Held on June 6, July 20, and August 21, 2006. (Staff: Tina Douglas)
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
1. EL06-025 In the Matter of the Filing by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. Regarding its Notification of Intent to Apply for a Permit for an Energy Conversion Facility. (Staff Analysts: Martin Bettmann/Nathan Solem, Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
On September 22, 2006, Basin Electric Power Cooperative filed a letter of intent to construct an additional 100 MW gas turbine at an existing site five miles south of Groton. The construction phase of the proposed project will take 12 to 15 months.
TODAY, shall the Commission Designate a Local Review Committee in Accordance with SDCL 49-41B-6? AND, what Area shall be Designated as the Affected Area Pursuant to SDCL 49-41B-6?
2. EL06-019 In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Authority to Increase Rates for Electric Service (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Keith Senger, Bob Knadle, Martin Bettmann, and Nathan Solem; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Application by Black Hills Power, Inc. (BHP) for approval to increase rates for electric service to customers in its service territory by $9,593,688 annually or approximately 9.5% based on BHP's 2005 test year. The company states the proposed increase for a residential customer would be $5.16 per month based on usage of 600 kWh. The proposed rates may potentially affect approximately 60,434 customers in BHP's service territory. A Petition to Intervene and Notice of Appearance of Merillat Industries, LLC, GCC Dacotah, Inc., and Pope & Talbot, Inc., collectively referred to as the Black Hills Intervenors ("BHI") was filed on July 28, 2006. The Commission granted intervention to BHI at its August 8, 2006, meeting. On August 28, 2006, the City of Gillette, Wyoming filed a Petition to Intervene. BHP filed an Objection to the City of Gillette's Petition to Intervene on August 31, 2006. On September 7, 2006, the City of Gillette filed a Withdrawal of Petition to Intervene. The Commission granted the Request for Withdrawal at its September 12, 2006, commission meeting. On September 14, 2006, Rushmore Forest Products filed a Petition for Intervention. Intervention was granted to Rushmore Forest Products at the September 26, 2006, Commission Meeting.
TODAY, shall the Commission Suspend the Imposition of the Tariff for an Additional 60 days Beyond October 28, 2006?
Gas and Electric
1. GE06-001 In the Matter of the Merger between NorthWestern Corporation and BBI Glacier Corp., a Subsidiary of Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Limited (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
Northwestern Corporation ("NorthWestern") and Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Limited ("BBIL") have entered into an agreement and plan of merger, dated as of April 25, 2006, which is pending approval of the stockholders of Northwestern at its annual meeting to be held on August 2, 2006. In connection with this transaction (the "Transaction"), a question has arisen as to whether the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) has jurisdiction to approve the Transaction. Thus, NorthWestern and BBIL have filed a petition for a declaratory ruling pursuant to SDCL § 1-26-15 and ARSD 20:10:01:34. If the Commission concludes that it does in fact have jurisdiction, a second question is presented, namely, will the Commission approve the transaction. On June 21, 2006, Missouri River Energy Services filed a Petition to Intervene and a Provisional Request for Conditions to Approval of Merger. Petitions to Intervene were also filed by Heartland Consumers Power District (Heartland) and South Dakota Power Company (SDPC)on June 21, 2006, and by East River and Basin Electric on June 22, 2006. Intervention was granted to all parties above at the July 11, 2006, Commission Meeting. On October 10, 2006, Heartland and SDPC filed a Motion for Continuance.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Motion for Continuance?
1. NG06-009 In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Fuel Incentive and Proposal to Credit Margins through the Purchased Gas Adjustment. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
Application by MidAmerican Energy Company to utilize its Purchased Gas Adjustment during the months of January through March of 2007 to share positive net margins earned on sales for resale made using natural gas stored at one of its Waterloo Iowa liquefied natural gas facility storage tanks. MidAmerican states that if the project does not result in a positive net margin from sales for resale, MidAmerican will not attempt to recover the negative net margin from retail customers.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Fuel Incentive and Proposal to Credit Margins through the Purchased Gas Adjustment?
2. NG06-010 In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy for Approval of a Contract with Deviations with Fordham Colony. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
Application by NorthWestern Energy for approval of a contract with deviations to recover the cost of extending facilities to serve increased natural gas load at the Fordham Colony in Clark County, South Dakota.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Contract with Deviations and Associated Tariff Revisions?
Application by NorthWestern Energy for approval of tariff revisions requiring third-party marketers to receive approval of credit worthiness from NorthWestern's credit department prior to commencing service based on standards contained in the proposed tariff revisions. Existing marketers will also be required to submit credit information and seek approval as provided in the proposed tariff revisions. On October 5, 2006, Cornerstone Energy, Inc. filed a Petition for Intervention.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant Intervention to Cornerstone Energy, Inc.?
1. TC06-080 In the Matter of the Application of Embarq Communications, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analysts: Harlan Best/Phil Lusk, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On July 7, 2006, Embarq Communications Inc. filed an application seeking a Certificate of Authority to provide a broad range of resold switched and dedicated 1+ interexchange telecommunications services to residential customers (voice only) and business customers (voice and data) within the State of South Dakota.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Certificate of Authority to Embarq Communications, Inc.?
2. TC06-087 In the Matter of the Application of Yestel USA, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services in South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle/Nathan Solem, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On July 12, 2006, Yestel USA, Inc. filed an application seeking a Certificate of Authority to resell interexchange services including 1+ outbound dialing, 800/888 Toll-Free inbound dialing, directory assistance, and postpaid calling card services throughout South Dakota.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Certificate of Authority to Yestel USA, Inc.?
3. TC06-088 In the Matter of the Filing by Ymax Communications Corp. for Approval of its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff and for an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates. (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle/Phil Lusk, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On July 13, 2006, YMax Communications Inc. (YMax) filed a petition for exemptions or waivers from 1) Developing company-specific cost-based switched access rates; 2) Use of the formula in ASRD 20:10:27:12, so that YMax may mirror the Qwest Corporation tariffed access rates; 3) Calculation of billing and collection costs as set forth in ARSD 20:10:27:13; and 4) the requirement, as set forth in ARSD 20:10:27:07, that YMax file cost data in support of its switched access service tariff no less than once every three years. YMax also petitioned for approval of its access services tariff.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Intrastate Switched Access Tariff? AND, shall the Commission Grant the Petition and Waivers Requested by Ymax?
4. TC06-144 In the Matter of the Application of Zeus Telecommunications, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services in South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Keith Senger/Nathan Solem, Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
On August 15, 2006, Zeus Telecommunications, L.L.C filed an application seeking a Certificate of Authority to resell interexchange services including 1+ outbound dialing, 800/888 Toll-Free inbound dialing, directory assistance, and postpaid calling card services throughout South Dakota.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant a Certificate of Authority to Zeus Telecommunications, LLC?
5. TC06-147 In the Matter of the Application of First Communications, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analysts: Keith Senger/Phil Lusk, Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
On August 18, 2006, First Communications, LLC (First Communications), applied to the Commission for a Certificate of Authority to provide a full array of resold interLATA and intraLATA interexchange telecommunications services to business and residential customers in the State of South Dakota. Specifically, First Communications seeks authority to provide basic "1+" long distance services, otherwise known as Message Telecommunications Service ("MTS"), travel card services, and Toll-Free services. First Communications will not provide operator assisted services and plans to provide its service on a resale basis.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant a Certificate of Authority to First Communications, LLC?
6. TC06-157 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of Terms and Conditions for Interconnection, Unbundled Network Elements, Ancillary Services and Resale of Telecommunications Services between Qwest Corporation and 360networks (USA) Inc. (Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
On September 11, 2006 the Commission received a filing for the approval of an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and 360networks (USA) Inc.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Interconnection Agreement?
7. TC06-158 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and SBC Long Distance, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Long Distance (Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
On September 13, 2006 the Commission received a filing for the approval of an Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation and SBC Long Distance, Inc. d/b/a AT&T Long Distance. According to the parties, the Amendment adds terms, conditions and rates for Collocation Decommission.
TODAY, shall the Commission Approve the Amendment to the Agreement?
8. TC06-159 In the Matter of the Petition of Venture Communications Cooperative for Arbitration pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to Resolve Issues Relating to an Interconnection Agreement with Alltel Communications, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best, Staff Attorney: Kara Van Bockern)
On September 14, 2006, Venture Communications Cooperative (Venture) filed a petition for arbitration of certain unresolved terms and conditions of a proposed Interconnection Agreement between Venture and Alltel Communications, Inc. (Alltel), pursuant to Section 252 of the Telecommunications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act) (47 U.S.C. Section 252), SDCL 49-31-81, and ARSD 20:10:32:29. Venture filed a list of unresolved issues consisting of: (1) the definition of InterMTA Tariff, (2) the definition of Third Party Provider, (3) the definition of Wireline Local Calling Area, (4) ISP bound traffic, (5) Resale of Service, (6) concerning interconnection facilities between the Parties, (7) SS7 Messages, (8) concerning land to mobile traffic-direct interconnection, (9) Dialing Parity, (10) Telecommunications Traffic, (11) InterMTA Traffic, (12) Venture Provided Direct Interconnection Facilities, (13) Bill and Keep, (14) Billing and Payment, (15) Regulatory Approval, and (16) Rates and Factors. Venture "respectively requests that the Commission grant the following relief: 1. Order arbitration of the unresolved issues identified in this Petition between Venture and Alltel; 2. Issue an order directing Venture and Alltel to submit to the Commission for approval an interconnection agreement reflecting: (i) the agreed-upon language in Exhibit 1 and (ii) the resolution in this arbitration proceeding of any unresolved issues in accordance with the recommendations made by Venture herein, at the hearing on such issues, and in Exhibit 1; 3. Order the Parties to pay interim compensation for transport and termination of telecommunications traffic from January 1, 2006 (the Effective Date set forth in Exhibit 1) to the date on which the Commission approves the Parties' executed Agreement in accordance with Section 252(e) of the Act; 4. Retain jurisdiction of this arbitration until the Parties have submitted an executed interconnection agreement for approval by the Commission; and 5. Take such other and further action as it deems necessary and appropriate." In accordance with ARSD 20:10:32:30, a non-petitioning party may respond to the petition for arbitration and provide additional information within 25 days after the commission receives the petition. On October 6, 2006, the South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA) filed a Petition to Intervene.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant Intervention to the South Dakota Telecommunications Association?
1. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held October 31, 2006, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 412, State Capitol Building, Pierre, SD.
2. Commission meetings are scheduled for November 14 and 28, 2006.
3. Commissioners and Staff will be attending the Qwest Regional Oversight Committee Meeting in Rapid City, SD, on October 17 and 18, 2006.
4. A hearing in RM06-003 will be held November 7, 2006, at 1:30 p.m. in Room 412, State Capitol Building, Pierre, SD.
5. A hearing in EL06-019 will be held November 20 – 21, 2006, in Room 412, State Capitol Building, Pierre, SD.
Heather K. Forney
Deputy Executive Director
October 11, 2006