South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 9, 2010, at 2:30 P.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
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. CST on Monday February 8, 2010. Lines are limited and are given out on a first come, first served 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.
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AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
1. EL09-024 In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval to Use Deferred Accounting for Costs Incurred During its Participation in the Big Stone II Project. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Terri LaBrie Baker, Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On December 14, 2009, Otter Tail Power Company filed a petition for authority to use deferred accounting until its next rate case for costs incurred during its participation in the Big Stone II project. The Big Stone II project was a proposed multi-owner coal-fired generating plant to be located at the site of the existing Big Stone Generating Plant near Big Stone, South Dakota. At the time of its withdrawal, OTP had a 26.54% share of the project and a corresponding responsibility for shared project costs. Otter Tail currently expects it will file a rate case within the next twelve months. Denial of deferred accounting would cause OTP to reflect the approximately $1.27 million South Dakota jurisdictional share of development costs as an expense on its financial reports for the current period even though the costs are expected to be reviewed for recovery and amortization over a period of years in the company's next rate case. Additionally, as a consequence of this accounting treatment, denial of deferred accounting would also require the Company to accelerate that rate case filing.
TODAY, what is the Commission's decision regarding a proposed accounting method for the costs incurred by Otter Tail Power Company during its participation in the Big Stone II project?
2. EL09-025 In the Matter of the Application by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Authority for Deferred Accounting. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Terri LaBrie Baker, Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On December 17, 2009, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. filed an application for authority for deferred accounting for costs related to Montana-Dakota's efforts in securing needed new electric generation to meet the needs of its customers, primarily the Big Stone II Generating Station, until disposition of its next general electric rate case. Absent deferred accounting, the expenditures associated with the electric generation development activity would be required to be recorded as an expense rather than capitalized as an asset now that the Big Stone II project has been discontinued. Deferred accounting will allow capitalization of the development costs until addressed in the next general electric rate case.
TODAY, what is the Commission's decision regarding a proposed accounting method for the costs incurred by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. during its participation in the Big Stone II project?
On December 23, 2009, NorthWestern Energy filed an application for approval of a Contract with Deviation to upgrade a single-phase line to a three-phase line to adequately meet the needs of David Melius, 36106 – 151st Street, Cresbard, SD 57435. This project is necessary to service the multiple grain bins Mr. Melius plans to construct this winter.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the contract with deviations and the associated tariff change?
On December 31, 2009, Northern States Power Company, d/b/a Xcel Energy, filed to request approval to modify the Fuel Clause Rider tariff in order to sell excess renewable energy credits which have been allocated to South Dakota jurisdictional customers. Applicant proposes to credit 85 percent of proceeds to jurisdictional customers with the remaining 15 percent retained by the applicant as incentive to maximize the value obtained from the sale of renewable energy credits.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the tariff revisions?
1. OC09-005 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Nustar Pipeline Operating Partnership, LP, Wichita, Kansas, against Loewenberg Technologies, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
On July 20, 2009, Donna Patrick, on behalf of Nustar Pipeline Operating Partnership, LP, filed a complaint against Loewenberg Technologies. Nustar alleges various violations by Loewenberg, including a violation of the One Call statutory obligation to properly notify utilities of the intent to excavate. On September 14, 2009 the One Call Enforcement Committee found Loewenberg Technologies in violation of One Call statutes. The committee recommends a penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) with seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) suspended on the following conditions: (1.) Loewenberg Technologies fully complies with SDCL 49-7A and ARSD Article 20: 25 for twelve months following acceptance of resolution of Complaint OC09-004 by both parties. (2.) Loewenberg Technologies fully complies with the resolution of Complaint OC09-004 by making payment of the two hundred fifty dollars ($250) within thirty (30) days of the issuance of the Order to close Complaint OC08-007. (3.) Loewenberg Technologies should be aware that any future violation of SDCL 49-7A or ARSD 20:25 within twelve months from the date of the final order are be subject to additional penalties up to a maximum of $5000 under SDCL 49-7A-18. Loewenberg Technologies failed to comply with said conditions. The One Call Board now asks the Commission to pursue enforcement under SDCL 49-7A-28.
TODAY, shall the Commission pursue enforcement?
1. TC08-031 In the Matter of the Complaint filed by Kennebec Telephone Company, Inc., against Alltel Communications, Inc. Regarding Nonpayment of Transiting Charges. (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
On February 20, 2008, Kennebec Telephone Company, Inc. (Kennebec) filed a complaint against Alltel Communications, Inc. (Alltel) for failing to pay charges associated with transiting services. On May 13, 2009, Kennebec filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and Brief, and a Complainant's Statement of Undisputed Material of Facts. On June 1, 2009, Alltel filed a Brief in Opposition to Kennebec's Motion for Summary Judgment and Objection to Claimant's Statement of Alleged Undisputed Material Facts in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment. On June 22, 2009, Kennebec filed a Complainant's Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment. On January 6, 2010, Staff filed a request to schedule an evidentiary hearing and issue a Scheduling Order or to order the parties to engage in scheduling discussions with Commission Counsel to ultimately set a hearing date. On January 15, 2010, the Commission received Alltel Communication, Inc.'s Motion for Summary Judgment for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction. On February 1, 2010, the Commission received Kennebec's Opposition to Alltel's Motion for Summary Judgment and Response to Alltel's Statement of Material Facts.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Motion for Summary Judgment of Dismissal for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction or how shall it proceed?
2. TC09-083 In the Matter of the Application of WideVoice Communications, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
On August 11, 2009, WideVoice Communications, Inc (Widevoice) filed an application for a certificate of authority to enter the South Dakota market as a provider of local and interexchange service, as well as switched access service, long distance resale, advanced services and high speed digital service. WideVoice specifically requests authority to operate as a provider of facilities-based and resale local exchange telecommunications services in eligible interconnection areas in South Dakota, Qwest's incumbent local exchange areas, as well as authority to offer interexchange interLATA and intraLATA services statewide. On August 27, 2009, the South Dakota Telecommunications Association filed a Petition to Intervene. Midstate Communications and Midstate Telecom Inc. filed a Petition to Intervene on August 28, 2009. The Commission granted intervention to SDTA and Midstate at its September 8, 2009, meeting. On November 20, 2009, WideVoice requested withdrawal of its application. On November 23, 2009, the Commission received a request from WideVoice to reinstate the application. On January 27, 2010, a request was received to withdraw the application of WideVoice for a certificate of authority to provide local exchange services within South Dakota originally filed on August 11, 2009.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the request to withdraw application and close the docket?
3. TC10-001 In the Matter of the Application of IntelePeer, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
On January 8, 2010, IntelePeer, Inc. filed an application to provide facilities-based and resold interexchange services and local exchange services to business and residential customers. Initially, IntelePeer intends to provide local exchange service in areas served by Qwest and does not plan to provide service in areas of any small or rural local exchange carriers; however, IntelePeer, Inc. seeks statewide authority so that it may expand into other service areas as market conditions warrant and as additional service areas become open to competition. On January 28, 2010, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene from South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA).
Today, shall the Commission grant intervention to any party that has applied? And shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority?
4. TC10-003 In the Matter of the Application of Broadview Networks Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On January 13, 2010, Broadview Networks, Inc. (Broadview) filed an application for a certificate of authority to provide competitive local exchange services on a facilities-based, UNE-based and/or resold basis and interexchange telecommunications services within the State of South Dakota. Broadview requests authorization to provide service throughout South Dakota, although the Company will initially offer services in areas currently served by Qwest. The application further states that before offering service in any small incumbent Local Exchange Carrier exchange area which Broadview defines as an area served by an ILEC with fewer than 10,000 access lines, Broadview will seek to negotiate an interconnection agreement. At that time, the small ILEC may assert rural telephone status under Section 251 (f) of the Telecommunications Act. The Commission then may determine whether the assertion is correct, and if so, whether and under what terms and conditions interconnection would be provided. On January 28, 2010, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene from South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA).
Today, shall the Commission grant intervention to any party that has applied?
1. The Public Utilities Commission offices will be closed Monday, February 15, 2010, in observance of Presidents' Day.
2. Commissioners and staff will attend the winter meetings of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners February 15-18, 2010, in Washington, D.C.
3. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held February 23, 2010, at 2:30 p.m. (CST) in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.
4. A public input hearing in Docket EL09-028 will be held March 1, 2010, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (CST) at the American Legion, Main Street, White Lake, S.D.
5. Commissioners and staff will attend the Sioux Empire Home Show held March 5-7, 2010, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls, S.D., to meet with consumers, distribute information and answer questions.
6. A hearing in Dockets TC10-005 through TC10-013 will be held March 9, 2010, beginning at 2:00 p.m. (CST), in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.
7. Commission meetings are scheduled for March 9, 2010, and March 23, 2010.
8. Commissioners and staff will attend the Black Hills Home Builders Association Home Show held March 26-28, 2010, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, S.D., to meet with consumers, distribute information and answer questions.
/S/ Cindy Kemnitz .
February 2, 2010