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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
October 30, 2008, at 9:30 A.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 423
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE AD HOC COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to order. Present were: Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck; Executive Director Patty Van Gerpen; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Staff Attorneys Karen Cremer and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts Dave Jacobson, Bob Knadle, Nathan Solem, and Stacy Splittstoesser; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Commissioner Dusty Johnson; George Koeck, Otter Tail Corporation; Jim Wilcox, Xcel Energy; and Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities.
Mr. George Koeck, Otter Tail Corporation (Otter Tail), requested approval to form a new holding company pursuant to an Agreement and Plan of a Merger. Mr. Koeck stated that as part of the transaction, a new, legally separate Otter Tail Power Company will become a subsidiary of the holding company and that the restructuring will produce benefits for Otter Tail's utility customers and will enhance the transparency of the utility business for regulatory purposes. Mr. Dave Jacobson, Staff Analyst, recommended approval with the condition that "this approval does not pre-determine a Commission decision on any issue concerning Otter Tail's South Dakota electric rates, provision of service or regulatory obligations including, but not limited to, transaction cost allowance, jurisdictional assignment or allocation of debt and or appropriate capital structure."
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the application of Otter Tail Corporation to form a new holding company subject to the following conditions that "this approval does not pre-determine a Commission decision on any issue concerning Otter Tail's South Dakota electric rates, provision of service or regulatory obligations including, but not limited to, transaction cost allowance, jurisdictional assignment or allocation of debt and or appropriate capital structure. Motion passed 3-0.
Mr. Jim Wilcox, representing Xcel Energy, requested that the Commission approve the removal of the temporary definitions of time of day in Xcel's tariffs, which were previously approved by the Commission in 2007. Mr. Wilcox further stated that Xcel Energy has reprogrammed all of its TOD metering equipment in South Dakota to be synchronized with the new, expanded DST schedule, and the language that was temporarily inserted into affected TOD tariffs is no longer needed. Mr. Dave Jacobson, Staff Analyst, stated that the request is the reversal of the temporary time of day tariff provisions and recommended that the Commission approve the application with an effective date of October 30, 2008.
Commissioner Johnson moved that the Commission approve the tariff revision with an effective date of October 30, 2008. Motion passed 3-0.
1. NG08-010 In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., a Division of MDU Resources Group, Inc. for Approval of an Amendment to a Contract with Deviations with Merillat Corporation (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Tamie Aberle of Montana-Dakota Utilities (MDU), stated that MDU is requesting approval of an amendment to its existing contract with deviations with Merillat Corporation (Merillat) that would extend the agreement for another year and reduce the maximium daily delivery term to reflect Merillat's current usage. Ms. Aberle stated that Merillat is a large volume, high load factor customer, and it is in the best interest of the other customers for MDU to continue the agreement which will satisfy Merillat's request for firm sales gas service at a competitive price that allows MDU to continue to provide natural gas service to this facility. Ms. Aberle further stated that the existing firm customers will continue to benefit under this agreement through Merillat's contribution toward transmission pipeline demand costs and distribution cost recovery and requested the Commission's approval. Mr. Dave Jacobson, Staff Analyst, stated that staff recommended approval with the effective date of October 31, 2008.
Chairman Hanson moved that the Commission approve the Amendment to the Contract with Deviations and Associated Tariff Revision with less than 30 days notice with an effective date of October 31, 2008. Motion passed 3-0.
1. PS08-001 In the Matter of the Filing of the Investigation of the Natural Gas Incident of February 20, 2008, on Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.'s System in Pierre, South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Nathan Solem, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Kara Semmler, Staff Attorney, stated that the parties have worked out an agreement to exchange the information that each of them has requested. Mr. Smith, Staff Attorney, requested that the Commission approve the Protective Order that both parties have agreed to as acceptable. Ms. Rolayne Wiest, Commission Attorney, stated with a couple of corrections, she recommended approval of the Protective Order.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved that the Commission approve the Protective Order. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 10:02 am the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned.
/S/ Demaris Axthelm
December 9, 2008