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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 13, 2014, 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, May 12, 2014. 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

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on April 15, and April 30, 2014 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

Consumer Reports

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

Electric

1.     EL14-013     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Approval of Transmission Facilities Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On February 14, 2014, Black Hills Power, Inc. (BHP) filed an Application for a Transmission Facilities Adjustment (TFA). BHP proposes to recover approximately $586,000 associated with two 69 kV transmission rebuild projects. BHP proposes TFA rates effective June 1, 2014, through May 31, 2015. Approximately 65,000 South Dakota customers will be affected by the TFA rate change. The bill increase for a typical residential customer averaging 650 kWh per month will be approximately $0.26 or 0.3%. The parties advise they expect to file a Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation and Settlement Stipulation on or before Thursday, May 8, 2014.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Joint Motion for Approval of the Settlement Stipulation and approve the rates, terms and conditions stipulated therein?

2.     EL14-015     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Oahe Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Onida Municipal Electric (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On February 20, 2014, Commission Staff filed an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Oahe Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Onida Municipal Electric. This filing is made pursuant to current efforts of the PUC to verify electric territory mapping data for conversion to electronic format and use in a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. With the assistance of the above-referenced utilities, Commission Staff has confirmed the service territory boundary shared by these utilities and has prepared updated mapping information. Commission Staff asks for approval of the agreement to update official mapping data to properly reflect the service territory boundaries shared by the utilities in this docket.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement?

3.     EL14-022     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Langford Municipal Electric and NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On March 12, 2014, Commission Staff filed an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Langford Municipal Electric and NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy. This filing is made pursuant to current efforts of the PUC to verify electric territory mapping data for conversion to electronic format and use in a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. With the assistance of the above-referenced utilities, Commission Staff has confirmed the service territory boundary shared by these utilities and has prepared updated mapping information. Commission Staff asks for approval of the agreement to update official mapping data to properly reflect the service territory boundaries shared by the utilities in this docket.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement?

4.     EL14-023     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Langford Municipal Electric and Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On March 12, 2014, Commission Staff filed an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Langford Municipal Electric and Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. This filing is made pursuant to current efforts of the PUC to verify electric territory mapping data for conversion to electronic format and use in a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. With the assistance of the above-referenced utilities, Commission Staff has confirmed the service territory boundary shared by these utilities and has prepared updated mapping information. Commission Staff asks for approval of the agreement to update official mapping data to properly reflect the service territory boundaries shared by the utilities in this docket.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement?

5.     EL14-025     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Estelline Municipal Electric and H-D Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On March 19, 2014, Commission Staff filed an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Estelline Municipal Electric and H-D Electric Cooperative, Inc. This filing is made pursuant to current efforts of the PUC to verify electric territory mapping data for conversion to electronic format and use in a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. With the assistance of the above-referenced utilities, Commission Staff has confirmed the service territory boundary shared by these utilities and has prepared updated mapping information. Commission Staff asks for approval of the agreement to update official mapping data to properly reflect the service territory boundaries shared by the utilities in this docket.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement?

6.     EL14-029     In the Matter of the Joint Request for Service Rights Exception between Otter Tail Power Company and Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On April 3, 2014, the Commission received an application from Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail) and Lake Region Electric Association, Inc. (Lake Region) requesting approval of a service rights exception. On April 11, and April 25, 2014, Lake Region responded to staff's data request.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the joint request for service rights exception between Otter Tail Power Company and Lake Region Electric Association, Inc.?

7.     EL14-034     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for an Order Authorizing it to Issue up to $110 Million in Additional First Mortgage Bonds. (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On April 23, 2014, Black Hills Power, Inc. filed an application for approval to issue up to $110 million in additional first mortgage bonds. BHP and its sister utility Cheyenne Light, Fuel and Power Company are constructing the Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station (CPGS) in Cheyenne, Wyoming. BHP intends to issue debt under its existing indenture in an amount up to $110 million to fund CPGS and other capital expenditures and to call the Series 2004 Campbell County Bonds prior to maturity if they can be refinanced at a lower rate of interest.

     TODAY, shall the Commission authorize BHP to issue up to $110 million in additional first mortgage bonds?

8.     EL14-037     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Approval of its Environmental Improvement Adjustment (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On April 30, 2014, Black Hills Power, Inc. (BHP) filed for Commission approval of its revised Environmental Improvement Adjustment (EIA). BHP requests approval of the annual true-up for the third effective year of the existing EIA. The Company proposes a June 1, 2014, effective date to set the rates for all customer classes to $0.00, since the cost recovery for the Wyodak environmental improvement investments were shifted from the EIA to base rates in Docket EL12-061. The Company also requests permission to credit/charge the remaining EIA balancing account amounts through the Transmission Facilities Adjustment.  

     TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee up to the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date? AND, shall the Commission grant intervention to any party that may have filed? AND, shall the Commission approve the 2014 Environmental Improvement Adjustment, including the associated tariff sheet and revised rates, with an effective date of June 1, 2014? AND, shall the Commission approve BHP's request to credit/charge the remaining EIA balancing account amounts through the Transmission Facilities Adjustment? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

9.     EL14-038     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Approval to Extend Its Energy Efficiency Solutions Plan (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On April 30, 2014, the Commission received an Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. (BHP) for Approval to Extend its Energy Efficiency Solutions Plan. In this filing, BHP requests that the Commission approve a three month extension of its current Energy Efficiency Solutions Plan (EESP) and Energy Efficiency Solutions Adjustment (EESA) rate. The Commission approved the current EESP and EESA to be effective through May 31, 2014, in docket EL11-002. BHP requests an extension of the EESP and EESA in order to provide the company with adequate time to fully evaluate the existing programs and prepare a complete application for a new 2014-2016 EESP. The requested extension will result in an adjustment to the EESA tariff in order to account for the extended recovery period.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. for Approval to Extend its Energy Efficiency Solutions Plan? AND, shall the Commission approve the revised EESA Tariff?

Gas and Electric

1.     GE12-001     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions to its South Dakota Demand Side Management Plan  (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On January 27, 2012, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NWE) filed to revise its Demand Side Management (DSM) Plan that was approved in GE09-001. NWE filed an updated plan on December 6, 2012, and again on April 23, 2014. On May 6, 2014, NWE filed updated tariff sheets, requesting an effective date of June 1, 2014.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed two-year Demand Side Management Plan, including the associated tariff revisions, with an effective date of June 1, 2014?

Telecommunications

1.     TC11-087     In the Matter of the Application of Native American Telecom, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On October 11, 2011, Native American Telecom, LLC (NAT) filed an application for a certificate of authority to provide local exchange and interexchange service within the study area of Midstate Communications, Inc. NAT stated that it is a tribally-owned full service telecommunications carrier operating on the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Indian Reservation pursuant to an Order Granting Approval to Provide Telecommunications Service by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Crow Creek Utility Authority dated October 28, 2008. NAT seeks to expand its authority to include areas within Midstate's study area off of the Crow Creek reservation. On January 27, 2012, NAT filed a revised Application for Certificate of Authority. In its revised application, NAT stated that it seeks to provide local exchange and interexchange service within the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Reservation which is within the study area of Midstate. On June 3, 2013, NAT filed an Amended Application for Certificate of Authority. A hearing on this matter was held on February 24 and 25, 2014.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant NAT's request for a certificate of authority? And, shall the Commission grant any waivers as requested?

2.     TC14-009     In the Matter of the Filing by Airus, Inc. for Approval of its Access Service Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On March 28, 2014, the Commission received an application from Airus, Inc. (Airus) requesting approval of its initial Access Services Tariff No. 1. On May 1, 2014, Airus responded to staff's data request.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve Airus, Inc.'s Access Services Tariff No. 1?

3.     TC14-013     In the Matter of the Filing by Metropolitan Telecommunications of South Dakota, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On April 21, 2014, the Commission received a filing from Metropolitan Telecommunications (MetTel) for revisions of its Local Exchange Services Tariff Number 2. On April 24, 2014, MetTel filed a Request to Withdraw Tariff Revisions Submitted on April 21, 2014.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the withdrawal of this docket?

Items for Commission Discussion

1.     Following the Commission's consideration of a master metering exception determination in Docket EL13-034 on November 22, 2013, the Commission discussed potentially undertaking a rule making at its December 3, 2013, regular meeting. The majority of the discussion focused on repealing the Commission's master metering rules found in ARSD Chapter 20:10:26, and no motion was made to initiate a rule making. Commission Staff requests a discussion on the Commission's role in deciding when individual metering is not required, as laid out in ARSD 20:10:26:04(6). Specifically, the rule requires the applicant to “notify the commission so it may determine whether the applicant's system falls within this exception or whether the applicant is required to file an application for a variance.” Commission Staff would prefer the Commission either undertake a rule making to remove this requirement or draft an order delegating the Commission's determination to Commission Staff. At its regular meeting on April 15, 2014, the Commission engaged in a lengthy discussion of what approach, if any, to take regarding the notice of applicability of the (6) exception and the Commission's resulting determination of applicability. At the conclusion of the discussion, Chairman Hanson directed Commission Counsel Smith to draft an administrative order that would delegate the authority to make the determination of the applicability of the exception to the Executive Director who would make such determination with the analytical assistance of Commission Staff. On May 5, 2014, Commission Counsel filed a Memorandum outlining a potential delegation by administrative order approach, a rulemaking approach, and a comparative analysis of the two approaches.

Announcements

  1. A public input hearing for docket EL13-028 will be held Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. CDT in Meeting Rooms D & H at the Ramada Conference Center, Aberdeen, S.D.

  2. The PUC offices will be closed Monday, May 26, 2014, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday.

  3. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at 1:30 p.m. CDT in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

  4. Commissioners and Staff will attend the 2014 Mid-America Regulatory Conference Annual Meeting, June 1-4, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency Downtown, Indianapolis, Ind.

  5. Commission meetings are scheduled for June 10 and 24, 2014.

/s/Cindy Kemnitz     
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
May 6, 2014