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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 14, 2012, at 2:30 P.M. CST
Room 412, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Chris Nelson called the meeting to Order. Present were: Commissioners: Kristie Fiegen and Gary Hanson; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer, Ryan Soye and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts: Matthew Tysdal, Brian Rounds, Brittany Mehlhaff, and Chris Daugaard; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Joy Irving and Demaris Axthelm.

Also present were: Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson, representing Northern States Power dba Xcel Energy; Pam Bonrud, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; and Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Wayne Johnson, Qwest Corporation dba Century Link, QC; Debra Kutsunis, MidAmerican Energy; Patrick Finnegan, Metropolitan Telecommunications of South Dakota, Inc. dba MetTel; Al Brogan and Tim Olson, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Yvette LaFrentz, Doney Law Firm representing Oak Tree Energy LLC; Alan Peterson, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, P.C., representing Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc.; and Mike Uda, Uda Law Firm, P.C. representing Oak Tree Energy LLC.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Hearing Held on January 30, 2012, and the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on January 31, 2012. (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting hearing held on January 30, 2012, and the minutes of the Commission meeting held on January 31, 2012. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 110 contacts since the last report was prepared for the January 31, 2012 Commission meeting.

17 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 21 of the contacts involved electrical services, 12 contacts involved natural gas service, 3 contacts involved cell phone service, 37 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 1 contact was related to the Keystone XL pipeline and 19 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

230 of the 247 complaints received in 2012 have been resolved.

2,759 of the 2,760 complaints received in 2011 have been resolved.

Electric

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 Analysts: Chris Daugaard, Brian Rounds, Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler, Ryan Soye)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding Docket EL11-006. The transcript can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions: Commission Minutes: 2012 - http://puc.sd.gov/minutes/2012/default.aspx. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC Web site under Commission Actions; Commission Meeting Archives; 2012; February 14, 2012, Hearing for Docket EL11-006, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/puc02142012.mp3.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Oak Tree's Second Motion to Compel in part and deny in part, in particular: that NWE shall produce all Lands Energy documents in its possession responsive to Interrogatory No. 12 and Request for Production No. 30(b), but shall not be required to produce any such documents that are not in its possession, that NWE shall also produce all reports, studies, and analyses in its possession responsive to Request for Production No. 40(a) and (b), but shall not be required to produce any emails, correspondence, other miscellaneous communications, or work papers concerning these documents or the subject matter thereof, and that Oak Tree shall treat confidential information provided to it by NWE as confidential information subject to the Commission's rules regarding confidential information, the terms and conditions of any confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement between the parties, and to protective order. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL11-025     In the Matter of the Complaint by Northern States Power dba Xcel Energy against Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. for a Violation of the Service Territory Laws (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding the Complaint by Northern States Power dba Xcel Energy against Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. for a Violation of the Service Territory Laws. The transcript can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions: Commission Minutes: 2012 - http://puc.sd.gov/minutes/2012/default.aspx. The recording can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2012, February 14, 2012, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/Archives/2012/default.aspx

     Commissioner Hanson moved to establish the boundary as to the offer of settlement made by Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. at the conclusion of the parties' negotiations.

     Commissioner Fiegen made a substitute motion to defer docket EL11-025.  Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL12-001     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of its Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Ryan Soye, staff attorney, stated MidAmerican Energy submitted an application to approve the revisions to its tariff to correct certain typographical errors discovered in the existing tariff sheets on file and recommended the Commission grant approval to MidAmerican Energy.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the tariff revisions. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL12-013     In the Matter of the Request by Harvey K. Bue for a Determination of an Exception to Individual Metering Requirements in Regards to the Installation of a Master Metered Electric System for a Duplex in Webster, South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal; Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

Mr. Ryan Soye, staff attorney, recommended the Commission dismiss and close the docket.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to dismiss the filing due to an existing exception. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC12-001     In the Matter of the Filing by Metropolitan Telecommunications of South Dakota, Inc. dba MetTel for Approval of its Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Patrick Finnegan, asked the Commission for approval of its Access Services Tariff No. 3. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated the tariffs appear to be filed according to the FCC Order. Staff recommended approval of the tariff revisions filed on February 8, 2012.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the requested tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC12-018     In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of the Wireline Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and TC Systems, Inc. (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Wayne Johnson, CenturyLink QC, stated this was a routine adoption and asked the Commission for approval. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, stated that the agreement was properly filed, properly executed, and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions and that no comments were filed. Staff recommended the Commission approve the Interconnection Agreement.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and TC Systems, Inc. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC12-019     In the Matter of the Filing by XO Communications Services, Inc. for Approval of its Access Services Tariff (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
        
Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, asked the Commission to grant the request to withdraw and close the docket.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Notice to Withdraw and close the docket. Motion carried 3-0.

     There being no further business, at the hour of 4:22 p.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned. The next Commission meeting is scheduled for February 28, 2012.

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
February 14, 2012