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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
May 2, 2012, at 10:00 a.m. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

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1.     EL11-006     In the Matter of the Complaint by Oak Tree Energy LLC against NorthWestern Energy for refusing to enter into a Purchase Power Agreement (Staff Analysts: Chris Daugaard, Brian Rounds, Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler, Ryan Soye)

On April 28, 2011, Oak Tree Energy LLC (Oak Tree) filed a Complaint against NorthWestern Energy (NWE). The dispute involves a proposed wind generation project located in Clark County, South Dakota. Oak Tree argues the project is a "Qualified Facility" under PURPA regulations and as a result NWE is required to purchase power produced by the wind farm. Oak Tree alleges that NWE refuses to enter into a purchase power agreement and requests the Commission hear and resolve all issues. On December 13, 2011 Oak Tree filed its pre-filed direct testimony. On January 13, 2012, NWE filed its pre-filed direct and rebuttal testimony. On January 27, 2012 Staff filed its pre-filed direct testimony. On February 7, 2012, the parties filed a stipulation for an amended pre-hearing filing schedule. On February 28, 2012, the Commission served an Order for and Notice of Hearing. On March 14, 2012, the Commission issued an Order Denying Motion to Allow Electronic Testimony. On March 15, 2012, the Commission issued an Order Denying Oak Tree's Omnibus Prehearing Motions and Granting In Part and Denying in Part Parties' Motions to Strike and Exclude. On March 21, 2012, and March 22, 2012, the hearing was held as scheduled. On April 10, 2012, the Commission issued a Post Hearing Scheduling Order. On April 18, 2012, and April 24, 2012, the parties submitted post-hearing briefs. The Commission heard oral arguments on April 26, 2012. The Commission deferred action until May 2, 2012, to enable the parties to respond to a decision proposal offered by Chairman Nelson.

     TODAY, how shall the Commission rule on Oak Tree's Complaint?  OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

/S/ Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
April 27, 2012