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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
December 5, 2017, at 9:30 A.M. CST
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; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac, Brittany Mehlhaff and Lorena Reichert; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Present were:
Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Bob Mercer, reporter; Fred Rosenau, self; Rodney Christman, landowner; Fred Bermeie, landowner; Dustin Van Gilder, self; Jay Hesse, Betsy Engelking and Melissa Schmit, Crocker Wind Farm, LLC; Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Crocker Wind Farm, LLC; Brian Rybarik, Brian Wiese, Mike Hoff, Adam Wright, Jerry Hemper and Dan Miller, MidAmerican Energy Company; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing South Dakota Network; and Jenna Howell, South Dakota Department of Public Safety and 911 Coordination Board.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Gary Hanson, Commissioner; Mary Zanter, Pipeline Safety Manager; Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Eric Pauli, Howard Hoffman and Jessica Peterson, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Ron Gogolin, Pam Bonrud and Tim Olson, NorthWestern Energy Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Kent Miller and Laura Demman, Northern Natural Gas Company; and Reese Almond, Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith LLP, representing intervenors.

Administration

1.    Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on November 7, 2017. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on November 7, 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 963 contacts since the last report was prepared for the November 21, 2017, Commission meeting.

Seven contacts involved telecommunication services, 13 contacts involved electrical services, 28 contacts were related to natural gas services, two contacts were related to wireless service, eight contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to Wind Energy, two contacts were related to One Call, 892 contacts were related to the Keystone Pipeline, five contacts were related to the Dakota Access Pipeline and five 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: 2,449 of the 2,460 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL16-008     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy and Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Southeastern), asked that the Commission approve the Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern) and Southeastern. Mr. Ron Gogolin, NorthWestern, stated NorthWestern was in agreement with the request. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the electric service territory boundary agreement.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement.Motion carried 3-0.

2.      EL17-019      In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2016 Demand Side Management Report and 2018 Proposed Demand Side Management Plan (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL17-019. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, December 5, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc120517.mp3.

     Chairperson Fiegen deferred the docket until the next Commission meeting.

Natural Gas

1.     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)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket NG17-011. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, December 5, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc120517.mp3.

     Chairperson Fiegen deferred the docket until the next Commission meeting.

2.     NG17-017     In the Matter of the Joint Request of MidAmerican Energy Company and NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for a Waiver of Initial and Final Meter Reading Requirements (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Mary Zanter; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Brian Rybarik, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) requested the Commission grant a waiver of ARSD 20:10:17:02 to allow MidAmerican and NorthWestern to perform a single meter read and share information to comply with the requirement to have an initial and final meter read. Ms. Pam Bonrud, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern) asked for Commission approval. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant the requested waiver. Following discussion by the Commission, Mr. Rybarik and Ms. Bonrud requested the Commission grant withdrawal of the waiver request and close the docket. 

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the request to withdraw and close the docket. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications:

1.     TC17-063      In the Matter of the Petition for a Declaratory Ruling by Department of Public Safety/911 Coordination Board regarding Determining Responsibility for Rural Carrier Interconnection to the Next Generation 9-1-1 System (Staff Analysts: Joseph Rezac, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Jenna Howell, South Dakota Department of Public Safety, 911 Coordination Board, asked that the Commission grant the request for waiver of the sixty day deadline pursuant to ARSD 20:10:01:35 and the proposed procedural schedule. Mr. Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), stated SDTA had not objection to the request. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant approval to the request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the request for waiver of the sixty day deadline pursuant to ARSD 20:10:01:35 and the proposed procedural schedule. Motion carried 3-0.

ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

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)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL17-028. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2017, December 5, 2017, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2017/puc120517.mp3 .

     Commissioner Nelson moved to deny Crocker Wind Farm’s Motion to Reconsider. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 11:42 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
December 5, 2017