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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
April 27, 2017, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building

Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairperson Kristie Fiegen called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioner: 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, and Lorena Reichert; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Present were:
Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; William Taylor, Taylor Law Firm, LLC, representing Boomerang Wireless LLC dba enTouch Wireless; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Gary Hanson, Commissioner; Eric Pauli and Jody Londo, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Andy Gibson, Jones Walker, representing Boomerang Wireless LLC dba enTouch Wireless; Jamie Hajek and Danie Williams, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Jason Keil, Todd Brink and Mutch Usera, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Tom Welk, Boyce Law Firm, LLP, representing Otter Tail Power Company; Mark Thoma and Mark Bring, Otter Tail Power Company; Tamie Aberle, Travis Jacobson, Stephanie Bosch and Darcy Neigum, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; Julia Redman-Carter and Kim Lehrman, Boomerang Wireless LLC dba enTouch Wireless; Inna Vinogradov, iCommLaw, representing ExteNet Systems, Inc.

Administration

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

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on April 10, 2017. Motion carried 2-0.

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 87 contacts since the last report was prepared for the April 10, 2017, Commission meeting.

Sixteen contacts involved telecommunication services, 24 contacts involved electrical services, five contacts were related to natural gas services, six contacts were related to wireless service, three contacts were related to Dakota Access Pipeline, 12 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to Wind Energy, one contact was related to One Call and 19 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: 504 of the 530 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL17-009     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of its 2016 Economic Development Report and 2017 Economic Development Plan (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), asked that the Commission approve BHE’s 2016 Economic Development Report and its 2017 Economic Development Plan and Budget. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve BHE’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve BHE’s 2016 Economic Development Report and its 2017 Economic Development Plan. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL17-010     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of the Annual Update to Its Infrastructure Rider Rate (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Travis Jacobson, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), asked that the Commission approve MDU’s request to continue charging the existing tariff rate of $0.00497 per kWh. Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MDU’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve MDU’s request to continue charging the existing tariff rate of $0.00497 per kWh with staff’s changes. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL17-011     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of the Annual Update to Its Transmission Cost Recovery Rider Rate (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Stephanie Bosch, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), asked that the Commission approve MDU’s revised TCRR rate and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of May 1, 2017. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, stated staff had reviewed MDU’s TCRR filing, including the 2016 true-up, the 2017 revenue requirement, and supporting workpapers, and MDU has responded to staff data requests. Mr. Steffensen also stated MDU submitted revised attachments last week to amend a few items as laid out in the Staff Memo. Mr. Steffensen recommended that the Commission approve the revised 2017 revenue requirements and revised TCRR rate of $0.00438 per kWh, with an effective date of May 1, 2017.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the revised TCRR rate and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of May 1, 2017, with the rate of .00438. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL17-012     In the Matter of the Filing by Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions regarding Standard Billing Form and Disconnection Notice (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked that the Commission approve Xcel’s tariff revisions with an effective date of May 1, 2017. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel’s request.

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

5.     EL17-014     In the Matter of the Filing of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of its 2016 Economic Development Activities and 2017 Budget (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked that the Commission approve Xcel Energy’s 2016 Economic Development Report and its 2017 Economic Development Budget. Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve Xcel Energy’s 2016 Economic Development Report and its 2017 Economic Development Budget. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     EL17-015     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions to its Rate 38 (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), asked that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s tariff revisions with an effective date of May 1, 2017. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s request.

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

7.     EL17-017     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company Regarding its Notification of Intent to Apply for a Permit for an Energy Conversion Facility (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL17-017. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, April 27, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc04272017.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved that the affected area is designated as a six-mile radius within the borders of the state of South Dakota, that the local review committee is designated in accordance with 49-41B-6, that Otter Tail is granted a waiver of the requirement to simultaneously file prefiled testimony pursuant to ARSD 20:10:22:39, and that Otter Tail’s Motion to Schedule Prehearing Conference is granted. Motion carried 3-0.

Gas & 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)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), asked that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s final true-up energy efficiency adjustment rates, with an effective date of May 1, 2017, and approve the cancellation of the Energy Efficiency Adjustment Tariffs as of June 1, 2017. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s requests.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the Energy Efficiency Adjustment rates of a credit of $0.0005/kWh for electric service and a charge of $0.0144/therm for gas service, and associated tariff sheets with an effective date of May 1, 2017, and to approve the cancellation of the Energy Efficiency Adjustment Tariffs as of June 1, 2017.  Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG17-006      In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions regarding Excess Flow Valves for Existing Service Lines (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss) 

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Energy’s (NorthWestern), asked that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s proposed tariff revisions effective May 1, 2017. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions effective May 1, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC13-035     In the Matter of the Application of Boomerang Wireless LLC dba enTouch Wireless for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket TC13-035. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, April 27, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc04272017.mp3.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Boomerang’s Petition for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier for purposes of receiving federal Lifeline universal service support with respect to non-rural areas including non-rural tribal areas. Motion carried 2-1. Commissioner Nelson dissenting.

2.     TC17-009     In the Matter of the Application of ExteNet Systems, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), asked that the Commission approve SDTA’s petition to Intervene. Ms. Inna Vinogradov, iCommLaw, representing ExteNet Systems, Inc. (ExteNet), stated ExteNet didn’t have any objection to SDTA’s request. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve SDTA’s request

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant intervention to SDTA. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC17-010     In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC for Approval of Revisions to its Access Service Tariff (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC (CenturyLink), asked that the Commission approve the tariff revisions to its South Dakota Access Service Tariff, effective May 1, 2017. Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve

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

4.     TC17-011     In the Matter of the Approval of an Intercarrier Compensation Bill and Keep Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Neutral Tandem-South Dakota, LLC (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC asked that the Commission approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated that the agreement was properly filed, properly executed, and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions, and no comments were filed. Ms. Reiss recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the amendment to the Interconnection Agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 11:15 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
April 27, 2017