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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
October 24, 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: Commissioners: Gary Hanson and Chris Nelson; Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, 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; and Bob Mercer, reporter.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Mary Zanter, SD PUC Pipeline Safety Manager; Thomas Welk and Jason Sutton, Boyce Law Firm, LLP, representing Otter Tail Power Company; Bill Swanson, Otter Tail Power Company; Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, inc.; Andrew Moratzka, Stoel Rives LLP, representing South Dakota intrastate Pipeline Company; Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Brian Rybarick and Diane Votino, MidAmerican Energy Company; and Jeff Decker and Clyde Gross, NorthWestern Energy Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy.

Administration

1.    Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on October 11, 2017. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on October 11, 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 63 contacts since the last report was prepared for the October 11, 2017, Commission meeting.

Nine contacts involved telecommunication services, 18 contacts involved electrical services, Four contacts were related to natural gas services, nine contacts were related to wireless service, four contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, five contacts were related to Wind Energy, three contacts were related to the Dakota Access Pipeline and 11 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: 1,374 of the 1,400 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL17-042     In the Matter of the Application of Otter Tail Power Company for an Energy Conversion Facility Permit for the Construction of a Combustion Turbine Generator and Associated infrastructure including a Natural Gas Pipeline and Electric Transmission Line near Astoria, South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Darren Kearney; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess a filing fee not to exceed $282,500, grant the Local Review Committee’s request to hire a consultant, and authorize the Executive Director to enter into necessary consulting contracts. Mr. Tom Welk, Boyce Law Firm, LLP, representing Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), stated Otter Tail does not have any objections to the requests.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to assess a filing fee not to exceed $282,500 with an initial deposit of $8,000 for the energy conversion facility portion of the Application to account for actual expenses Incurred &in review of this filing as well as Docket EL17-017, and authorize the Executive Director to enter into necessary consulting contracts, and the Local Review Committee’s Request for $17,600 in order to hire a consultant. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL17-044     In the Matter of the Joint Request for Service Rights Exception between Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy and Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company (Xcel Energy), asked that the Commission approve the requested service rights exception between Xcel Energy and Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Southeastern). Mr. Brad Schardin, Southeastern, stated Southeastern waa in agreement to the request. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested service rights exception between Xcel Energy and Southeastern. 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, recommended that the Commission approve the procedural schedule submitted by staff. Mr. Paul Bachand, South Dakota intrastate Pipeline Company (SDIP) and Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), stated SDIP and MDU were in agreement with staff.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to establish April 2, 2018, as the deadline for staff and MDU’s prefiled testimony, establish April 30, 2018, for all parties rebuttal testimony, establish June 1, 2018 for final discovery responses due, and establish June 13-15, 2018, for an evidentiary hearing. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     NG17-011     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions regarding Farm Tap Service (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Mary Zanter, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Brian Rybarik, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), asked that the Commission approve the tariff revisions on less than 30 days’ notice with an effective date of November 1, 2017. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the tariff revisions on less than 30 days’ notice with an effective date of November 1, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     NG17-013     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions regarding Contract Sales Service (Rate 86) and Transportation Service (Rate 87) Tariff (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Energy Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern) asked that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s Contract Sales Service (Rate 86) and Transportation Service (Rate 87) Tariff revisions with an effective date of November 1, 2017. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve NorthWestern’s Contract Sales Service (Rate 86) and Transportation Service (Rate 87) Tariff revisions with an effective date of November 1, 2017. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:05 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
October 24, 2017