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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Tuesday, December 18, 2007, at 8:30 A.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 412
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. on December 17, 2007. Lines are limited and are given out on first come/first serve 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 button on the home page. The Commission requests that 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 and then click on the LISTEN button on the page.
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.
ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING
On August 8, 2005, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 ("EPAct 2005") was signed into law. Certain provisions in the EPAct 2005 amend the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act ("PURPA") of 1978. The EPAct 2005 adds five new federal standards to PURPA. The five standards regard net metering, fuel diversity, fossil fuel generation efficiency, smart metering, and interconnection for distributed resources. Under the EPAct 2005, the Public Utilities Commission (Commission) has varying timelines within which to consider these standards and determine whether to adopt them. The Commission voted to open a docket to seek comments from interested persons or entities on how to proceed. The Commission requested comments on the following: 1) which electric utilities operating in South Dakota are affected by the standards and are subject to the Commission's jurisdiction? 2) Should the Commission open a docket for each utility or open a generic docket encompassing all of the affected utilities? 3) Should the Commission combine all of the standards, some of the standards, or have separate dockets for each standard? 4) Should the Commission hold evidentiary hearings with direct testimony and cross-examination? 5) If the Commission decides to implement any of the standards, should it do so through a rulemaking? 6) With respect to the net metering standard, should the Commission find it is not required to consider this standard given that the Legislature has already considered net metering in a past legislative session? Comments were received from the South Dakota Rural Electric Association and South Dakota Electric Utility Companies. A hearing in this matter was held May 30, 2007. Staff filed a letter of recommendations on June 13, 2007. At its July 11, 2007, meeting the Commission voted to not accept PURPA Standard 14 and hold additional workshops on PURPA Standard 15.
TODAY, shall the Commission Authorize the Executive Director to Hire a Consultant and Enter into Contracts with the Consultant?
Gas & Electric
1. GE06-001 - In the Matter of the Merger between NorthWestern Corporation and BBI Glacier Corp., a Subsidiary of Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Limited (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson/Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler John Smith)
On June 7, 2006, Northwestern Corporation ("NorthWestern") and Babcock & Brown Infrastructure Limited ("BBI") filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling and for Approval of Transaction if Jurisdiction Found seeking a jurisdictional ruling and approval of an agreement and plan of merger between NorthWestern and BBI dated as of April 25, 2006 (the "Transaction"). NorthWestern also initiated a proceeding before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") in FERC Docket EC06-127-000 seeking approval of the Transaction. The Commission intervened in the FERC proceeding. At its ad hoc meeting on October 10, 2006, the Commission voted to approve a Settlement Agreement dated as of October 9, 2006 resolving the Commission's participation in the FERC proceeding. At the Commission's ad hoc meeting on December 12, 2006, the Commission ruled that the jurisdictional threshold under South Dakota law had not been met and that the commission lacked jurisdiction to approve or disapprove the Transaction. On November 6, 2007, the Commission received a Petition to Terminate FERC Agreement from NorthWestern. The petition seeks to terminate the Settlement Agreement on the grounds that it was a settlement agreement in the FERC proceeding approving the Transaction, which has become moot following BBI's termination of the Transaction.
TODAY, shall the Commission authorize a mutual termination of the Settlement Agreement between the Commission and NorthWestern and BBI in FERC Docket EC06-127-000 and authorize the Executive Director and General Counsel to execute any necessary documents memorializing the termination?
1. TC07-107 - In the Matter of Unauthorized Long Distance Changes and Unauthorized Telephone Charges Made by Reduced Rates Long Distance. (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds/Keith Senger/Deb Gregg, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
On October 5, 2007, Staff filed a Motion for Order to Show Cause against Reduced Rates Long Distance based on twenty-three consumer complaints of cramming and slamming activity by Reduced Rates. Staff alleges Reduced Rates Long Distance changed consumer long distance providers and/or added fees to consumer bills through deceptive practices and without proper authorization. On October 10, 2007, Midcontinent Communications filed a Petition to Intervene. On October 23, 2007, a Notice of Appearance was filed by Meredith A. Moore on behalf of Reduced Rates Long Distance.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Petition for Intervention to Reduced Rates Long Distance? AND, shall the Commission Grant the Motion for Show Cause? OR, how shall the Commission Proceed?
2. TC07-108 - In the Matter of the Filing by XO Communications Services, Inc. for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates. (Staff Analyst: Keith Senger, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
On October 9, 2007, XO Communications Services, Inc. filed a petition requesting an extension of an exemption from filing company specific cost-based switched access rates.
TODAY, shall the Commission Grant the Request for an Extension of an Exemption from Developing Company Specific Cost-Based Switched Access Rates?
Heather K. Forney
Deputy Executive Director
December 14, 2007