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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 28, 2017, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Matthew Training Center, Foss Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairperson: Kristie Fiegen called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioners: Gary Hanson and Chris Nelson; Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Amanda Reiss and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, Darren Kearney, Joseph Rezac, Brittany Mehlhaff, Jon Thurber, and Lorena Reichert; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Present were:
Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Cary Stephenson, Lana Fedje, Randy Synstelien and Dave Prazak, Otter Tail Power Company; Brian Lewis, Todd Brink and Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Brian Rybarik, Renee White, Ben Clark and Naomi Czachura, MidAmerican Energy Company; Danie Williams and Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Tom Forte, Technologies Management Inc., representing eNetworks, LLC; Richard Bell, self; Lonnie Schryvers, Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Tamie Aberle, Larry Oswald and Cathy Bearlocker, Montana-Dakota Utilities; and Jacob Quasney, Lloyd Companies, representing Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership and Trinity Point Limited Partnership.

Administration

1.     Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on February 10, 2017. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on February 10, 2017. 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 72 contacts since the last report was prepared for the February 10, 2017, Commission meeting.

Two contacts involved telecommunication services, 23 contacts involved electrical services, four contacts were related to natural gas services, one contact was related to gas and electric service, nine contacts were related to wireless service, one contact was related to Dakota Access Pipeline, 13 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, three contacts were related to Wind Energy, and 16 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

Complaints received in 2014: 1,914 of the 1,916 have been resolved.

Complaints received in 2017: 255 of the 274 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL16-042     In the Matter of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy’s Application for Adjustment in its Cogeneration and Small Power Production Service Simultaneous Net Billing Generation Credit Rate(s) (Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Richard Bell, PE, CEM, asked that the Commission approve his intervention. Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), stated BHE had no objection to Mr. Bell’s request. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve Mr. Bell’s intervention.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant intervention to Mr. Richard Bell and grant the 90-day extension. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL17-002     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of Petition of Tariff Revisions to Its Meter Data and Privacy Policy (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Cary Stephenson, Otter Tail Power Company (OTP), asked that the Commission approve its tariff revisions with an effective date of March 1, 2017. Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve OTP’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the tariff revisions with an effective date of March 1, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL17-003     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions to its Rates for Small Power Production and Cogeneration (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Lana Fedje, Otter Tail Power Company (OTP), asked that the Commission approve OTP’s proposed revisions to its rates for Small Power Production and Cogeneration for Qualifying Facilities
Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve OTP’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed revisions to Otter Tail Power Company’s rates for Small Power Production and Cogeneration for Qualifying Facilities. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL17-005     In the Matter of the Joint Request for Service Rights Exception between Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy and Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Todd Brink, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), asked that the Commission approve the requested service rights exception between BHE and Black Hill Electric Cooperative, Inc. (BHEC). Mr. Lonnie Schryvers, BHEC, had no objection to the request. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested service rights exception between Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy and Black Hill Electric Cooperative, Inc. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     EL17-006     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of 2017 Transmission Facility Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHP), stated BHP did not object to the filing fee. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess a filing fee up to the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date.

6.     EL17-007     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions to its Transmission Cost Recovery 2016 Reconciliation and 2017 New Factor Calculation (Staff Analysts: Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Brian Rybarick, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), stated MidAmerican did not object to the filing fee. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess a filing fee up to the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date.

7.     EL17-008     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of its 2017 Environmental Improvement Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), stated BHE did not object to the filing fee. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess a filing fee up to the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date.

     In dockets EL17-006, EL17-007 and EL17-008, Commissioner Hanson moved to assess a filing fee up to the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date. Motion carried 3-0.

Gas and Electric

1.     GE16-005     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of 2017 South Dakota Demand Side Management Plan (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket GE16-005. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, February 28, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc02282017.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the termination of NorthWestern Energy’s DSM program. Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG17-002      In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of its Revised Conservation Tracking Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket NG17-002. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, February 28, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc02282017.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.’s request for approval of the revised Conservation Tracking Adjustment of $0.027 per dk and the associated Conservation Program Tracking Mechanism Rate 90 tariff sheet, with an effective date of March 1, 2017, with the understanding that the total advertising and administration budget for 2017 shall be set at $15,000. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     NG17-003      In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Its Refund Plan regarding Refund from ANR Pipeline Company (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Brian Rybarik, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), asked that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s refund plan. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that he Commission approve MidAmerican’s request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve MidAmerican Energy Company’s refund plan. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC16-050     In the Matter of the Application of eNetworks, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Tom Forte, eNetworks, LLC (eNetworks), asked that the Commission grant for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota and requested waivers. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval to eNetworks for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services. Ms. Reichert stated that the company has responded to all of staff’s data requests. Ms. Reichert recommended approval of granting the Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services with the restriction that eNetworks not offer any prepaid services, including prepaid calling cards, and does not accept or require any deposits or advance payments, for retail purposes, without prior approval of the Commission subject to rural safeguards and grant approval of waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:10, excluding subpart 1.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant the request by eNetworks, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota and requested waivers. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC17-006     In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink for Approval of Waiver of the Utilization Threshold Requirements in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink (CenturyLink), asked that the Commission approve CenturyLink’s Waiver for Utilizations Threshold Requirements. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve CenturyLink’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the request for Waiver of Utilization Threshold Requirements with the condition CenturyLink provides the Commission a utilization report in two years. Motion carried 3-0.

ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

1.     GE16-006     In the Matter of the Request by Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership for a Variance from the Individual Metering Requirement in ARSD 20:10:26:03 for Three Multi-Family Facilities in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jacob Quasney, Lloyd Companies, representing Inter-Lakes Community Action Partnership, asked that the Commission defer this docket. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, staff had no objection to Mr. Quasney’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen deferred the docket.

2.     GE16-007     In the Matter of the Request by Trinity Point Limited Partnership for a Variance from the Individual Metering Requirement in ARSD 20:10:26:03 for a 48-Unit Multi-Family Housing Structure in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jacob Quasney, Lloyd Companies, representing Trinity Point Limited Partnership, asked that the Commission dismiss and close the docket. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve Trinity Point Limited Partnership’s request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to dismiss and close the docket. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:42 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
February 28, 2017