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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 7, 2013, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 414, 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, May 6. 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 website 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 website 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
1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on April 9, 2013, and April 23, 2013 (Staff: Joy Irving)
1. Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
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 Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On April 28, 2011, Oak Tree Energy, LLC (Oak Tree) filed a Complaint (Complaint) with the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) against NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NWE). The dispute involves a proposed wind generation project located in Clark County, South Dakota (Project). Oak Tree alleges that the Project is a "Qualified Facility" under PURPA and that NWE has refused to enter into a power purchase agreement. Following a number of preliminary and discovery related motions and proceedings, on February 28, 2012, the Commission issued an Order for and Notice of Hearing setting the matter for hearing on March 21-22, 2012. The hearing was held as scheduled. Following post-hearing briefing and oral argument, on May 15, 2012, the Commission issued an Interim Order. In response to the parties' respective motions to reconsider, on October 11, 2012, the Commission issued an Order granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion for Partial Reconsideration and Application for Reconsideration. On October 15, 2012, the Commission issued a Procedural Order; Order for and Notice of Hearing, setting the matter for additional hearing on December 5-6, 2012. The hearing was held as scheduled. On February 21, 2013, the Commission issued its Final Decision and Order; Notice of Entry (Decision). On March 21, 2013, NWE filed an Application for Reconsideration of Findings and Conclusions in the Final Order Issued on February 21, 2013 (Application). The Commission considered NWE's Application at its regular meeting on April 23, 2013. The Commission voted unanimously to reconsider the Decision regarding use of levelized avoided cost without inclusion of a discount factor, but to defer final action on the appropriate resolution of the issue until the next meeting. The Commission voted unanimously to deny reconsideration of its Decision with respect to use of a 20% capacity factor in calculating avoided cost. A majority of the Commission voted to reconsider the Decision with respect to whether escalation of avoided capacity costs should commence prior to 2015, but took no substantive action on the proper capacity escalation commencement date. The Commission voted unanimously to reconsider the Decision's use of a 2.25% load growth factor in the avoided cost calculation model, but to defer decision on the issue until its next meeting.
TODAY, how shall the Commission rule on the following issues raised by the Application for Reconsideration: 1) What is the appropriate date for commencement of escalation of avoided capacity cost? 2) Is 2.25% per annum an appropriate load growth factor for use in calculating avoided energy costs and, if not, what is the appropriate load growth factor? 3) Should the Commission approve the use of actual avoided cost values instead of levelized avoided costs, or, alternatively, approve the inclusion of a discount factor in its levelized avoided cost calculation, or, alternatively, approve the non-discounted levelized avoided cost approach as approved in the Commission's Decision?
2. EL13-008 In the Matter of the Filing of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of its 2012 Economic Development Activities and 2013 Budget (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On March 29, 2013, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel Energy) filed for approval of its 2012 Economic Development Annual Report and 2013 Economic Development Budget. The filing includes Xcel Energy's report on the projected and actual 2012 economic development activities budget and provides documentation of the actual economic development expenses incurred. The filing also provides a revised economic development budget that Xcel Energy plans for 2013. On April 24, 2013, Xcel filed its response to staff's data request.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve Xcel Energy's 2012 Revised Economic Development Report and its 2013 Economic Development Plan?
1. NG12-008 In the Matter of the Application of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Authority to Increase its Natural Gas Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)
On December 21, 2012, the Commission received an application by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU) for approval to increase rates for natural gas service to customers in its South Dakota service territory, consisting of the Black Hills and East River service areas, by approximately $1.5 million based on MDU's test year ending June 30, 2012. MDU is also proposing to consolidate the Black Hills and East River areas into one rate jurisdiction. On February 19, 2013, Federal Executive Agencies (FEA) filed a Petition to Intervene. Intervention was granted to FEA on March 6, 2013. On April 19, 2013, the Commission received a Withdrawal motion from FEA.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Withdrawal filed by the Federal Executive Agencies?
On August 24, 2012, the Commission received a request from Sage Telecom, Inc. (Sage) to replace its South Dakota Tariff No. 3 with South Dakota Tariff No. 4. The new tariff provides updated contact information, definitions, rules and regulations, and switched access sections. VoIP-PSTN traffic language is also added to comply with the Federal Communication Commission's 2011 Report and Order, FCC 11-161 (in Docket Nos. 07-135, 01-92 et al., released November 18, 2011). Sage requests an effective date of August 27, 2012.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the revised tariff sheets?
On April 4, 2013, the Commission received a filing from Budget PrePay, Inc. dba Budget Phone to withdraw its South Dakota Competitive Access Provider Services Tariff No. 3.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant Budget PrePay, Inc.'s request to withdraw its Competitive Access Provider Services Tariff No. 3?
3. TC13-030 In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Service Performance Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and dishNET Wireline, L.L.C. fka Liberty-Bell, LLC (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On April 8, 2013, the Commission received a filing pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 252 for approval of a Service Performance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and dishNET Wireline, L.L.C. fka Liberty-Bell, LLC.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement?
4. TC13-031 In the Matter of the Filing by AT&T Corp. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services and Network Interconnection Services Tariff (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)
On April 10th, 2013, AT&T Corp. filed with the Commission changes to its Access Services and Network Interconnection Services Tariff. The changes make consistent the FCC Tariff references with other AT&T Corp. state access service publications.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve AT&T Corp.'s tariff changes?
On April 10th, 2013, TC Systems, Inc. filed with the Commission changes to its Access Services Tariff. The changes make consistent the FCC Tariff references with other TC Systems, Inc.'s state access service publications.
TODAY, shall the Commission approve TC Systems, Inc.'s tariff changes?
Items for Commission Discussion
- The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 1 p.m. CDT in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.
- The PUC offices will be closed Monday, May 27, 2013, in observance of Memorial Day.
- Commission meetings are scheduled for June 4 and 18, 2013.
April 30, 2013