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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
March 19, 2019, at 1:00 P.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioners: Chris Nelson and Kristie Fiegen; Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson and Lorena Reichert; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Present were:
Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Daniel Brooks, Wiley Rein LLP, representing Vesta Solutions, Inc.; Mollie Smith, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Sweetland Wind Farm, LLC; Eric Pauli, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Stephanie Bosch, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, Stephanie Olsen and Amanda Hosch, MidAmerican Energy Company; and Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC, representing Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC.

Administration

1.     Approval of the minutes of Commission meetings held on February 15 and March 1, 2019. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of Commission meetings held on February 15 and March 1, 2019. 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 34 contacts since the last report was prepared for the March 1, 2019, Commission meeting.

One contact involved telecommunication services, nine contacts were related to electrical services, one contact was related to natural gas service, six contacts were related to wireless service, eight contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to Wind Energy and eight contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. 

Contacts received in 2019: 302 of the 312 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL18-058     In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Boundary Change 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 dba Xcel Energy (Xcel) and Mr. Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Southeastern), asked that the Commission approve the service territory boundary change between Xcel and Southeastern. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the service territory boundary change.Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL19-003     In the Matter of the Application by Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility in Grant and Codington Counties (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC, representing Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC (Crowned Ridge), stated Crowned Ridge has no objection to the party status. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated that staff doesn’t not object to the party status.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant party status to Melissa Lynch.Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL19-008     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions to Its 2018 Transmission Cost Recovery Reconciliation and 2019 Transmission Cost Recovery Factors (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards

Ms. Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, MidAmerican Energy Company’s (MidAmerican), asked that the Commission approve the revised Transmission Cost Recovery rate factors and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of April 2, 2019. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the revised Transmission Cost Recovery rate factors and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of April 2, 2019. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL19-009     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., a Subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., for Approval of the Annual Update to Its Transmission Cost Recovery Rider Rate (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), a filing fee in the amount of up to $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date. Ms. Stephanie Bosch, MDU, stated MDU doesn’t object to the request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to assess a filing fee in the amount of up to $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date.Motion carried 3-0.

5.     EL19-010     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., a Subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., for Approval of the Annual Update to Its Infrastructure Rider Rate (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), 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. Ms. Stephanie Bosch, MDU, stated MDU doesn’t object to the request.

     Commissioner Fiegen 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.

6.     EL19-012     In the Matter of the Application by Sweetland Wind Farm, LLC for Facility Permits for a Wind Energy Facility and a 230-kV Transmission Facility in Hand County, South Dakota for the Sweetland Wind Farm Project (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess MidAmerican a filing fee in the amount of up to $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date. Ms. Amanda Hosch, MidAmerican, stated MidAmerican does not object to the filing fee.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to assess a filing fee not to exceed $320,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000 and authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC19-002     In the Matter of the Application of Vesta Solutions, Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange and Interexchange Long Distance Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), asked that the Commission approve SDTA’s intervention. Mr. Daniel Brooks, Wiley Rein LLP, representing Vesta Solutions, Inc. (Vesta), stated Vesta does not object to SDTA’s request. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated staff has no objection to the request.

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

2.     TC19-003     In the Matter of the Application of NGA 911, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange and Interexchange Long Distance Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), asked that the Commission approve SDTA’s intervention. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated staff has no objection to the request.

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

     There being no further business, at the hour of 1:29 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Specialist
PUC Email
March 19, 2019