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CORRECTION TO AGENDA (EL11-017)

CORRECTION TO AGENDA (TC11-072)

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
July 26, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
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. CDT on Monday, July 25, 2011.  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.

 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 link on the home page. The Commission requests 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, Click on "Commission Meeting Archives," to access the recordings.

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 

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on July 12, 2011. (Staff:  Lennis Axdahl)

Consumer Reports

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

Electric 

1.  EL11-017   EL10-017     In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Rights Exception between West River Electric Association and Black Hills Power (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye) 

On June 23, 2011, West River Electric Association (WREA) and Black Hills Power (BHP) jointly filed a request for Commission approval of an electric service territory exception. If approved, BHP will provide electric service to a City of Rapid City water reservoir located in WREA's electric service territory in Section 23, T2N, R7E, Pennington County, South Dakota.

      TODAY, shall the Commission grant the territory exception?

2.     EL11-016     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of a Contract with Deviations (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye) 

On June 21, 2011, NorthWestern Corporation, dba NorthWestern Energy filed for Approval of a Contract with Deviations. The proposed contract would provide electric service to an agricultural business with the customer paying a portion of the cost to extend service to the customer's location. Inclusion of these costs would place the charges outside the tariffed rates currently on file with the Commission. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the contract with deviations? 

3.     EL11-018     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

On June 29, 2011, the Commission received an application from MidAmerican Energy Co. for approval to revise its Rider No. 54 - Qualifying Cogeneration and Small Power Production Purchases tariff rates and terms and conditions. The Company has requested an effective date of August 15, 2011, for the proposed modifications to the rate schedules.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the tariff revisions? 

4.     EL11-019     In the Matter of the Application of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Authority to Increase its Electric Rates (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Bobbi Bourk, Brittany Mehlhaff, Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On June 30, 2011, the Commission received an application by Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel) for approval to increase rates for electric service to customers in its South Dakota service territory by approximately $14. 6 million annually or approximately 9.28% based on Xcel's 2010 test year. In addition, Xcel is proposing to recover approximately $1 million of ongoing investments in its Monticello nuclear generating plant through a Nuclear Cost Recovery Rider to go into effect with the final rates. The Company states a typical residential electric customer using 750 kWh per month would see an increase of 9.48%, or $6.93 per month. The proposed rates may potentially affect approximately 84,000 customers in Xcel's South Dakota service territory.

     TODAY, shall the Commission give the Executive Director authority to enter into necessary consulting contracts? 

5.     EL11-020     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

On June 30, 2011, the Commission received a filing by Otter Tail Power Company for approval of revised tariff sheets that Otter Tail states contain minor language changes or sheets that were inadvertently omitted in Otter Tail's May 5, 2011, compliance filing in Docket EL10-011.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the tariff revisions? 

Rulemaking 

1.     RM09-002     In the Matter of the Adoption of Rules Regarding Renewable, Recycled, and Conserved Energy. (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Rolayne Wiest) 

At its January 5, 2010, meeting, the Commission opened a rulemaking docket to consider adopting rules regarding South Dakota's Renewable, Recycled and Conserved Energy Objective. The Commission has received comments on proposed draft rules. 

     TODAY, how shall the Commission proceed? 

2.     RM10-001     In the Matter of the Request to Amend Rules Regarding ARSD Chapter 20:10:17 Gas and Electric Customer Billing. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler, Commission Attorney: Rolayne Ailts Wiest) 

At its April 20, 2010, meeting, the Commission opened a rulemaking docket, at the request of Commission Staff, to examine the customer billing rules in ARSD Chapter 20:10:17 and to consider amendments to these rules. The Commission has received comments on proposed draft rules. 

     TODAY, how shall the Commission proceed? 

Telecommunications 

1.     TC07-117     In the Matter of the Petition of Midcontinent Communications for Approval of its Switched Access Rates (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer) 

On October 31, 2007, Midcontinent Communications (Midcontinent) filed with a petition requesting (i) an exemption, pursuant to ARSD 20:10:27:11, from the requirement of ARSD 20:10:27:07 to file a company-specific cost study in support of its switched access rates, (Ii) approval of switched access rates that mirror rates of similarly situated CLECs and (iii) approval of the switched access tariff sheets submitted with the petition incorporating the rates approved by the Commission. The Commission, at its ad hoc meeting of December 16, 2008, denied Midcontinent's request for an exemption from developing company specific cost-based switched access rates pursuant to ARSD 20:10:27:11. The Commission furthered voted unanimously to redirect Docket RM05-002 from a general switched access docket to focus more specifically on a CLEC switched access rate setting policy and directed staff to provide a straw man proposal for the Commission's consideration within 180 days after the date of this Order. The rules in RM05-002 were effective May 30, 2011. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss and close this docket? 

2.     TC09-014     In the Matter of the Filing by SSTELECOM, Inc. for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer) 

On April 3, 2009, SSTELECOM, Inc. filed for approval of an extension of its current exemption from developing company specific cost-based switched access rates and requested that the Commission approve the rate set forth in its current Switched Access Tariff No.1 for the duration of the extension period. On April 29, 2009, the Commission received a Motion for Temporary Approval of Switched Access Rate from SSTELECOM. The Commission granted the Motion for Temporary Approval of Switched Access Rate, with the current rate remaining in effect. On November 9, 2010, the Commission voted unanimously to proceed to a formal rule making with regards to switched access rules for competitive local exchange carriers.  The rules in RM05-002 were effective May 30, 2011. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss and close this docket? 

3.     TC09-022     In the Matter of the Filing by RC Communications, Inc. for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer) 

On May 13, 2009, RC Communications, Inc. filed to request an extension of an exemption from developing a company specific cost-based switched access rate for a period of three months after the effective date of the new rules adopted by the Commission in RM05-002-002. RC Communications further requested approval of its current switched access rate of $0.115 per minute. On May 13, 2009, the Commission also received a Motion for Temporary Approval of Switched Access Rates from RC Communications. On June 23, 2009, the Commission voted unanimously to grant the Motion for Temporary Approval of Switched Access Rates, with the current rate remaining in effect. On November 9, 2010, the Commission voted unanimously to proceed to a formal rule making with regards to switched access rules for competitive local exchange carriers.The rules in RM05-002 were effective May 30, 2011.

     TODAY, shall the Commission dismiss and close this docket? 

4.     TC10-096     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC, Against MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services for Unpaid Access Charges (Staff Analyst:  Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney:  Kara Semmler) 

         On October 27, 2010, the Commission received a complaint from Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC (Parties) against MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services (Verizon) for unpaid access charges. The Parties allege that Verizon has failed to pay invoices pursuant to state tariffs for the provision of intrastate switched access services. The Parties believe Verizon withheld payment based on its argument the unpaid amounts are linked to IP-originated and IP-terminated traffic and it does not believe these items are subject to switched access tariff charges. The Parties disagree, arguing traffic is undistinguishable and subject to switched access charges.  On July 15, 2011, Midcontinent Communications filed a Voluntary Dismissal of this docket due to Midcontinent Communications and MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services have entered into a Confidential Settlement Agreement. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the voluntary dismissal and close the docket?

5.     TC11-016     In the Matter of the Application of ONLINE SAVINGS, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Long Distance Services (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)  

On April 25, 2011, ONLINE SAVINGS, INC. (ONLINE) filed an application for a certificate of authority to provide intrastate interexchange telecommunications services within South Dakota through the resale of similar services offered by other interexchange carriers in the state. ONLINE intends to operate exclusively as a reseller to provide interexchange services on a statewide basis.   

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Certificate of Authority for ONLINE?

6.     TC11-049     In the Matter of the Request of Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

On May 27, 2011, the Commission received an application from Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC requesting the Commission grant a waiver of the Commission's ETC filing requirements pursuant to ARSD 20:10:32:56, on the grounds that the reporting requirements in support of ETC certification are unduly burdensome and unnecessary. Citizen's also requests that the Commission issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C., Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to Company in 2012. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the waiver and certify Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota?

7.     TC11-071     In the Matter of the Application of New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, a subsidiary of AT&T Mobility LLC, for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in Rural Study Areas (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

On June 13, 2011, the Commission received an application by New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, a subsidiary of AT&T Mobility LLC, (AT&T Mobility) requesting approval to designate AT&T Mobility as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to SDCL §49-31-78 and Section 214(e) of the Federal Communications Act of 1934, as amended, for the purpose of qualifying to obtain all available federal universal service support including, but not limited to, support for rural, insular and high costs areas, and for low-income customers. On July 1, 2011, James Valley Wireless, LLC and SDTA filed a Petition to Intervene. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to all parties?

8.     TC11-072     In the Matter of the Application of New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, a subsidiary of AT&T Mobility LLC, for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in Non-Rural Study Areas (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

On June 13, 2011, the Commission received an application by New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, a subsidiary of AT&T Mobility LLC, (AT&T Mobility) requesting approval to designate AT&T Mobility as an eligible telecommunications carrier pursuant to SDCL §49-31-78 and Section 214(e) of the Federal Communications Act of 1934, as amended, for the purpose of qualifying to obtain all available federal universal service support including, but not limited to, support for non-rural, insular and high costs areas, and for low-income customers.  On July 2, 2011, James Valley Wireless SDTA filed a Petition to Intervene. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant intervention to all parties?

9.     TC11-075     In the Matter of the Filing by Midstate Telecom, Inc. for Approval of its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff and for a Phase-In Period (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On June 22, 2011, Midstate Telecom, Inc. (Midstate) filed a petition for approval of its new intrastate switched access rates. Per ARSD 20:10:27:02.02, Midstate requested the Commission approve a higher rate than allowed under ARSD 20:10:27:02.01 and filed a cost study in support of the higher rate. Midstate also requested a phase-in period in which their current rate would be approved until November 30, 2011, after which the requested rate would go into effect. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee not to exceed $100,000 with an initial deposit of $1,000?

10.     TC11-076     In the Matter of the Filing by Northern Valley Communications, LLC for Approval of its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

On June 30, 2011, Northern Valley Communications, LLC (NVC) filed a petition for approval of its intrastate switched access tariff rates and the proposed revised switched access services tariff pages. The revisions are being implemented to reduce NVC's switched access rates by $0.05458 per minute and the company requests an effective May 30, 2011. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the revised tariff?

11.     TC11-077     In the Matter of the Establishment of Switched Access Revenue Requirement for Fort Randall Telephone Company (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On July 5, 2011, Fort Randall Telephone Company, Wagner, South Dakota, filed a switched access cost study pursuant to the administrative rules established by the Commission. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee not to exceed $100,000 with an initial deposit of $1,000?  

Items for Commission Discussion 

Announcements

  1. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held Tuesday, August 9, 2011, at 9:30 a.m., CDT, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

  2. Commissioners and staff will attend the Sioux Empire Fair, August 9-14, 2011, at the W.H. Lyons Fairgrounds in Sioux Falls, S.D.

  3. Commissioners and staff will attend the Brown County Fair, August 17-21, 2011, at the Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen, S.D.

  4. Commissioners and staff will attend the South Dakota Association of Telephone Cooperatives annual meeting August 21-23, 2011, at the Ramkota in Aberdeen, S.D.

  5. Commission meetings are scheduled for August 24 and September 13, 2011.

  6. Commissioners and staff will attend the South Dakota State Fair, September 1-5, 2011, at the South Dakota State Fairgrounds in Huron, S.D.

  7. Commissioners and staff will tour the Glacial Lakes Energy facility in Watertown, Thursday, September 8, 2011.

 

/S/ Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
July 19, 2011