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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 7, 2013, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 414, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioner: Kristie Fiegen; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Brian Rounds, Brittany Mehlhaff, David Jacobson, Matthew Tysdal, Darren Kearney, Jason Simmons, and David Henry; and Staff: Sherry Dickerson

Also present were:
Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson representing Montana Dakota Utilities Co.; Bob Mercer, Reporter; and Michael Makens, Bill Makens, James Makens, and Pat Makens, Oak Tree Energy, LLC.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioner: Chris Nelson; Yvette LaFrantz, Doney Law Firm, representing Oak Tree Energy, LLC; Mike Uda, Uda Law Firm, P.C. representing Oak Tree Energy, LLC; Tim Olson and Bleau LaFave, NorthWestern Energy; Jim Wilcox, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Wayne Johnson, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Bill Hunt, dishNET Wireline, L.L.C. fka Liberty-Bell, LLC; and Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc. representing Sage Telecom, Inc.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings held on April 9, 2013, and April 23, 2013. (Staff: Joy Irving)

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the Commission Meeting minutes held on April 9, 2013, and April 23, 2013. 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 70 contacts since the last report was prepared for the April 23, 2013, Commission meeting.

14 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 18 of the contacts involved electrical services, 3 contacts involved natural gas service, 7 contacts involved cell phone service, 16 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 2 contacts were related to One Call and 10 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

616 of the 655 complaints received in 2013 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 Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Commissioner Nelson submitted to the Commission, and provided copies to all persons present and via email attachment to those participating telephonically, spreadsheet and graph handouts entitled "Nelson Avoided Cost Summary on Reconsideration May 7, 2013 - Peak and Load Growth." A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL11-006. A transcript of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Dockets, Electric Dockets, 2011 Electric Dockets, EL11-006, Transcript of May 7, 2013, Commission meeting (EL11-006): http://puc.sd.gov/commission/minutes/2013/transcript/transcriptel11-006050713.pdf

     Commissioner Nelson moved that avoided capacity costs remain at $36 per kilowatt year for 2013 and 2014 and then begin escalating at 5.84% per year. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the methodology for calculating energy and peak growth utilizing a load growth of 2.25% per year and a peak growth of 1% per year in the manner employed in the model he provided to calculate avoided energy costs over the 20-year contract period. Commissioner Fiegen made a substitute motion to approve the methodology Staff utilized in its model for computing a 1% peak and 2.25% energy growth load shape as depicted on the lower spreadsheet on Exhibit A to Staff's model. Substitute motion carried 2-1, with Commissioner Nelson dissenting.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve levelized avoided costs as calculated by the Staff model approved in the previous motion with the application of a 7.86% discount factor as set forth on the lower spreadsheet set forth on Exhibit B to Staff's model. Motion carried 2-1, with Commissioner Nelson dissenting.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to reconsider the action taken with respect to the commencement of escalation of avoided capacity costs and further moved as a substitute motion that the $36 per kilowatt year avoided capacity cost be maintained through the end of 2015, with the commencement of escalation for avoided capacity cost to begin after 2015 by applying the escalation factor of 5.84% per year to the 2015 value, with the escalated avoided capacity cost to take effect on January 1, 2016, and with annual escalation to continue thereafter for the remainder of the 20-year contract term as set forth in Staff's model. Motion passed 3-0.

2.     EL13-008     In the Matter of the Filing of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of its 2012 Economic Development Activities and 2013 Budget (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Jim Wilcox, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel Energy), requested that the Commission approve its 2012 Economic Development Annual Report and 2013 Economic Development Budget. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel Energy's request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve Xcel Energy's 2012 Revised Economic Development Report and its 2013 Economic Development Plan. Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG12-008      In the Matter of the Application of Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Authority to Increase its Natural Gas Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant the withdrawal filed by Federal Executive Agencies (FEA). Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson representing Montana Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU) stated that MDU had no objection to FEA's withdrawal.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the Withdrawal filed by the Federal Executive Agencies. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC12-129     In the Matter of the Filing by Sage Telecom, Inc. for Approval of its South Dakota Intrastate Access Services Tariff (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc. representing Sage Telecom, Inc. (Sage), requested that the Commission approve Sage's revised tariff sheets. Mr. Brian Rounds, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval to Sage's request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the revised tariff sheets. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC13-029       In the Matter of the Filing by Budget PrePay, Inc. dba Budget Phone to Withdraw its Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: David Jacobson; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. David Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant Budget PrePay, Inc. dba Budget Phone's request to withdraw its South Dakota Competitive Access Provider Services Tariff No. 3.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Budget PrePay, Inc.'s request to withdraw its Competitive Access Provider Services Tariff No. 3. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC13-030     In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of a Service Performance Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and dishNET Wireline, L.L.C. fka Liberty-Bell, LLC (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Commissioner Hanson deferred the docket to the next Commission meeting.

4.     TC13-031     In the Matter of the Filing by AT&T Corp. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services and Network Interconnection Services Tariff (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve AT&T Corp.'s tariff changes.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve AT&T Corp.'s tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC13-032     In the Matter of the Filing by TC Systems, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Service Tariff (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve TC Systems, Inc.'s tariff changes.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve TC Systems, Inc.'s tariff changes. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:47 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned

 

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
May 7, 2013