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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
August 13, 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: Commissioners: Chris Nelson and Kristie Fiegen; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Brittany Mehlhaff, Darren Kearney, Jason Simmons, Eric Paulson, Mary Zanter, Nathan Solem, Robin Meyerink, Brian Rounds, and David Henry; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Sherry Dickerson

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Lee Magnuson and Ray Faricy, Lindquist, Vennum, LLP, representing B&H Wind, LLC; Robin Nelson, Dakota Rural Action; Pam Bonrud, Jon Oostra, Al Brogan, and Bleau LaFave, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Keith Thorstad, B&H Wind, LLC; Scott Moore, FEM Electric Association, Inc.; Tamie Aberle and Bruce Brekke, Montana-Dakota Utilities Company; Ginny Beck, City of Crooks; Kristie Ellis, City of Humboldt; Al Winterton and Craig Nussbaum, City of Garretson; Karen Hyde and Greg Diamond, Level 3 Communications, LLC; Wendy Harper, Vantage Point Solutions, representing Sancom, Inc. dba Mitchell Telecom; Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc. representing Onvoy, Inc. dba Onvoy Voice Services and Sage Telecom, Inc.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on July 30, 2013 (Staff: Joy Lashley

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Minutes of the Commission Meeting held on July 30, 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 53 contacts since the last report was prepared for the July 30, 2013 Commission meeting.

9 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 17 of the contacts involved electrical services, 5 contacts involved natural gas service, 6 contacts involved cell phone service, 7 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry and 9 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,098 of the 1,140 complaints received in 2013 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL13-020     In the Matter of the Application of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power Company for a Permit to Construct the Big Stone South to Brookings County 345 kV Transmission Line (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds, Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes, and Thompson, LLP, representing Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy and Otter Tail Power Company, stated there were no objections to the interventions. Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, recommended granting intervention to all parties.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant intervention to any party that may have filed. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL13-025     In the Matter of the Request for a Declaratory Ruling by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy regarding Approving a Qualifying Facility Power Purchase and Sale Agreement (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL13-025. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2013, August 13, 2013, http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2013/puc08132013.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved that the Power Purchase and Sale Agreement between NorthWestern Energy and B & H Wind does comply with PURPA because it was negotiated between the parties based on their determination of avoided cost; Commission Nelson further moved to decline to rule on the issue of whether the rates in the PPA meet the prudency and just and reasonable standards for retail rate purposes as set forth in SDCL 49-34A-8 and 49-34A-8.4 because, as held in Docket EL11-007, the Legislature has only given the Commission jurisdiction to determine these matters in a retail rate proceeding, including a proceeding under SDCL 49-34A-25. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL13-026     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Montana-Dakota Utilities Company and FEM Electric Association, Inc. (Staff Analyst: David Henry; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)     

Mr. Bruce Brekke, Montana-Dakota Utilities Company, asked that the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement. Mr. Scott Moore, FEM Electric Association, Inc. (FEM), stated that FEM had no objection.

    Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

Pipeline Safety

1.     PS13-004     In the Matter of the Filing by Crooks Municipal Gas for a Waiver of 49-C.F.R. 192.285(a)(2) and C.F.R. 192.285(c) (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Mary Zanter; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Mary Zanter, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant the above requested waivers to allow greater recertification scheduling flexibility, subject to staff's proposed conditions.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the requested waivers. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     PS13-005     In the Matter of the Filing by Humboldt Municipal Gas Utility for a Waiver of 49-C.F.R. 192.285(a)(2) and C.F.R. 192.285(c) (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Mary Zanter; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

3.     PS13-006     In the Matter of the Filing by Garretson Natural Gas Utilities for a Waiver of 49-C.F.R. 192.285(a)(2) and C.F.R. 192.285(c) (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Mary Zanter; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Mary Zanter, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant the above requested waivers to allow greater recertification scheduling flexibility, subject to staff's proposed conditions.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant the requested waivers in PS13-005 and PS13-006. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC12-124     In the Matter of the Filing by Level 3 Communications, LLC for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

2.     TC12-127     In the Matter of the Filing by Level 3 Communications, LLC for Approval of Revisions to Update its Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds)

Mr. Brian Rounds, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the requested tariff revisions in dockets TC12-124 and TC12-127.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the tariff revisions as requested in TC12-124 and TC12-127. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC13-033     In the Matter of the Filing by McLeodUSA Telecommunications Services, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the requested tariff revisions with an effective date April 15, 2013.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested tariff revisions with an effective date April 15, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     TC13-046     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: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Corp., asked that the Commission approve the proposed tariff revisions. Ms. Robin Meyerink, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions effective July 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     TC13-060     In the Matter of the Filing by Sancom, Inc. dba Mitchell Telecom for Approval of Revisions to its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Wendy Harper, Vantage Point Solutions, representing Sancom, Inc. dba Mitchell Telecom, asked that the Commission grant approval of the requested tariff revisions and grant the waiver as requested. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant the requested waiver and approve the tariff revisions with an effective date July 1, 2013.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the requested tariff revisions and grant the requested waiver with an effective date July 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     TC13-070     In the Matter of the Filing by Onvoy, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

     Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval of the requested tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2013.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

7.     TC13-084     In the Matter of the Filing by BullsEye Telecom, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Access Services Tariff No. 2 (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval of the requested tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2013.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2013. Motion carried 3-0.

8.     TC13-086     In the Matter of the Filing by Sage Telecom, Inc. for Approval of Revisions to its Tariff No. 4 (Staff Analyst: Robin Meyerink; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Robin Meyerink, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval of the requested tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2013.

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

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:39 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/S/Joy Lashley
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
August 13, 2013