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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
October 11, 2017, at 1:30 P.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol 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: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac, and Lorena Reichert; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Present were:
Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Geronimo Energy and Montana Dakota Utilities; Paul Bachand, Moreno, Lee & Bachand, P.C., representing South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company; Gordon Woods; South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company; Kathy Lucas, self; and Will Thomssen, self.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Amanda Rome, John Chow and Chris Shaw, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Andrew Moratzka, Stoel Rives LLP, representing South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company; Eric Pauli and Heather Hemphill, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Bryce Haugen and Scott Ruud, Otter Tail Power Company; Dave Adam, Land owner; and Margie Mersman, TCA, Inc., representing Nebraska Technology & Telecommunications, Inc.

Administration

1.     Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on September 26, 2017. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on September 26, 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 54 contacts since the last report was prepared for the September 26, 2017, Commission meeting.

Eight contacts involved telecommunication services, 17 contacts involved electrical services, two contacts were related to natural gas services, two contacts were related to wireless service, four contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 11 contacts were 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: 1,324 of the 1,337 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL17-028     In the Matter of the Application by Crocker Wind Farm, LLC for a permit of a Wind Energy Facility and a 345 kV Transmission Line in Clark County, South Dakota, for Crocker Wind Farm (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Darren Kearney; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve party status to Luke Holzworth. Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Geronimo Energy, did not object to granting party status.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant party status to Luke Holzworth.Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL17-030     In the Matter of the Filing by Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Revised Welcome Brochures (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked that the Commission approve Xcel’s revised welcome brochures. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel’s request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the revised welcome brochures.Motion carried 2-1. Commissioner Fiegen dissenting.

3.     EL17-035     In the Matter of the Petition of Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of the Environmental Cost Recovery Rider Charge (Staff Analysts: Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Bryce Haugen, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), asked that the Commission approve Otter Tail’s revised Environmental Cost Recovery Rider Rate and associated tariff revisions with an effective date of November 1, 2017. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Otter Tail’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve Otter Tail Power Company’s revised Environmental Cost Recovery Rider Rate and associated tariff revisions with an effective date of November 1, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL17-039     In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of its 2018 Infrastructure Rider Project Eligibility and Factor Update (Staff Analysts: Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated staff recommended that the Commission assess the filing fee. Mr. Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), did not object to the filing fee in the amount of up to $250,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to assess a filing fee in the amount of up to $250,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date. Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG17-009      In the Matter of the Application of South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company for Authority to Increase its Natural Gas Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, asked that the Commission order a procedural schedule and to set a ten business day response deadline for data requests. Mr. Paul Bachand, South Dakota Intrastate Pipeline Company (SDIP), is in agreement to staff’s request. Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), indicated he had a conflict with the proposed hearing dates.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to adopt the 10 business days turn around for response and defer the procedural schedule to the next Commission meeting.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to amend Commissioner Hanson’s motion to also approve the SDIP Prefiled Testimony deadline of July 28, 2017 and the SDIP Supplemental Testimony deadline of November 17, 2017. The amended motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC17-062     In the Matter of the Filing by Nebraska Technology & Telecommunications, Inc. for Approval of its Access Tariff (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Margie Mersman, TCA, Inc., representing Nebraska Technology & Telecommunications, Inc. (NT&T), asked that the Commission approve its original Access Tariff effective October 16, 2017. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve NT&T’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve Nebraska Technology & Telecommunications, Inc.’s Access Tariff. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 1:57 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
October 11, 2017