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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
June 16, 2017, at 8:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Commissioner Chris Nelson called the meeting to order. Present were: 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, Jon Thurber, Brittany Mehlhaff, and Lorena Reichert; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Present were:
Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association, Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing South Dakota Network; Kyle White, Amy Koenig and Marne Jones, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioners: Kristie Fiegen and Gary Hanson; Jason Keil, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc., representing Wide Voice, LLC; Michele Nielson, Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. dba Sioux Valley Energy; Eric Pauli, Bob Schommer, Nick Paluck, Lisa Peterson and Rebecca Eilers, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; and Jason Grenier, Jon Fabre, Brenda Sandahl, Amber Stalboerger and Greg Anderson, Otter Tail Power Company.

(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)

Administration

1.     Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on June 6, 2017, and the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting Held on June 8, 2017. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on June 6, 2017, and the Ad Hoc Commission meeting held on June 8, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission (Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

The Commission received a total of 52 contacts since the last report was prepared for the June 6, 2017, Commission meeting.

Five contacts involved telecommunication services, 17 contacts involved electrical services, three contacts were related to natural gas services, one contact was related to gas and electric service, nine contacts were related to wireless service, seven contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to the Keystone XL Pipeline, one contact was related to Wind Energy and eight 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: 803 of the 820 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     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)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL17-006. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, June 16, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc06162017.mp3.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation and approve the rates, tariff sheets, terms and conditions stipulated therein. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     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)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL17-008. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, June 16, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc06162017.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation and approve the rates, tariff sheets, terms and conditions stipulated therein. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL17-018     In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Changes to its Street Lighting System Service Tariff to Include Light Emitting Diode (LED) Street Lighting Rates (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked that the Commission approve Xcel’s tariff revisions. Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel’s request.

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

4.     EL17-020     In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Territory Boundary Change between Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy and Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. dba Sioux Valley Energy (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

     Commissioner Nelson deferred docket EL17-020.

5.     EL17-021     In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of its 2017 Vegetation Management Annual Report and Approval to End the Vegetation Management Regulatory Asset (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney, Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Marne Jones, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), asked that the Commission approve BHE’s 2017 Vegetation Management activities from December 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017, the VMRA balance as of March 31, 2017, and BHE’s request to end the VMRA. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve BHE’s request subject to the conditions stated in the agenda.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the 2017 vegetation management activities from December 1, 2015 through March 31, 2017, the VMRA balance as of March 31, 2017, and BHE’s request to end the VMRA, subject to the condition that such approval shall not preclude Commission review of the project, including project and cost management, accounting data and methods, and the resulting balance in the regulatory asset, for prudence and reasonableness for rate recovery in any determination of rates, including both rate filings by BHE and rate reviews initiated by the Commission and does not guarantee any such recovery. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     EL17-022     In the Matter of Otter Tail Power Company’s 2016 South Dakota Energy Efficiency Plan Status Report and 2017 Annual Filing to Update the Energy Efficiency Adjustment Rider (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jason Grenier, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), asked that the Commission approve Otter Tails’ 2016 Energy Efficiency Plan Status Report, approve the 2016 Financial Incentive of $105,900, and approve the proposed Energy Efficiency Adjustment Factor of $0.00138/kWh with an effective date of July 1, 2017. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Otter Tail’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve Otter Tail’s 2016 Energy Efficiency Plan Status Report, approve the 2016 Financial Incentive of $105,900, and approve the proposed Energy Efficiency Adjustment Factor of $0.00138/kWh with an effective date of July 1, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC17-001     In the Matter of the Application of Wide Voice, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange and Interexchange Long Distance Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Carey Roesel, Technologies Management, Inc., representing Wide Voice, LLC (Wide Voice), asked that the Commission approve Wide Voice’s application for a certificate of authority to provide competitive local exchange services, including exchange access service, and interexchange long distance services in South Dakota, subject to the conditions in the Joint Stipulation. Mr. Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), and Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing South Dakota Network (SDN) did not object to Wide Voice’s request. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval of Wide Voice’s request for a certificate of authority for local exchange service and interexchange long distance service with the restrictions that Wide Voice 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 and that Wide Voice be subject to rural safeguards. Mr. Steffensen also recommended that the Commission grant SDTA, SDN, and Wide Voice’s request to include the terms and conditions as set forth in the Joint Stipulation filed on June 13, 2017.
  
     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant Wide Voice’s application for a certificate of authority to provide competitive local exchange services, including exchange access service, and interexchange long distance services in South Dakota, subject to the conditions outlined by staff and in the Joint Stipulation. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 9:15 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
June 16, 2017