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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
January 3, 2017, at 1:30 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 10:00 a.m. CST on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. 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 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.

Commissioner Chris Nelson will take the oath of office prior to the start of the commission meeting. South Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice David Gilbertson will administer the oath to Nelson.



1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Gross Receipts Tax Hearing and Commission Meeting Held on December 20, 2016 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

Consumer Reports

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

Natural Gas

1.     NG16-015     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of a Contract with Deviations with Prairie Ethanol, LLC and Removal of South Dakota Wheat Growers Contract with Deviations (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On December 16, 2016, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern) filed for approval of a contract with deviations with Prairie Ethanol, LLC and to remove South Dakota Wheat Growers from the list of contract with deviations due to that contract with deviations expiring. Prairie Ethanol, LLC has reached the expiration date of its initial contract. NorthWestern desires to provide this customer with continuing natural gas service and has negotiated a new contract with deviations. NorthWestern states the new rate will allow NorthWestern to maintain Prairie Ethanol, LLC as a customer, which will benefit not only Prairie Ethanol, LLC, but also NorthWestern and its natural gas customers, through recovery of administrative and general costs and common costs from this customer. NorthWestern requests approval on less than thirty days’ notice with an effective date for the tariff revisions of January 3, 2017.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the contract with deviations with Prairie Ethanol, LLC effective January 3, 2017? AND shall the Commission approve the associated tariff sheet on less than 30 days’ notice, effective January 3, 2017?


1.     Election of a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Commission (Commission Attorney: Adam de Hueck)

     South Dakota Codified Law 49-1-8 states in part that, “The members of the Commission shall elect a chairperson by majority vote and prescribe his duties.” SDCL 49-1-12 requires that, “Every vote and official action of the Public Utilities Commission shall be entered of record and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of either party or any person interested.” SDCL 1-25-1 requires that all official meetings of Commission be open to the public. Accordingly, the determination of the Commission’s leadership structure shall be made at this public meeting.

     TODAY, how shall the Commission provide for its Executive Leadership?

Items for Commission Discussion


  1. The PUC office will be closed Monday, January 2, 2017, in observance of the New Year’s holiday.

  2. Commissioners will attend the Mid-America Regulatory Commissioners Retreat, January 5-7, 2017, at the Menger Hotel, San Antonio, Texas.

  3. The PUC offices will be closed Monday, January 16, 2017, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

  4. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. CST at the Floyd Matthew Training Center in the Foss Building, 523 E. Capitol Ave., Pierre, S.D.

  5. Commissioners and staff will host a briefing for legislators on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. CST in Room 414 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D. The agenda is to discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline, farm taps for natural gas service, renewable energy development, and current issues related to telecommunications, grain warehouses, pipeline safety and energy regulation.

  6. Commission meetings are scheduled for January 27 and February 10, 2017.


/s/Cindy Kemnitz                     .
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
PUC Email
January 6, 2017