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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
June 25, 2019, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building

Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Commissioner Chris Nelson called the meeting to order. Commissioner: Kristie Fiegen; Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Mikal Hanson; Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Joseph Rezac and Lorena Reichert; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Present were:
Jason Keil and Kyle White, Black Hills Power Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; and Bob Mercer, KELO reporter.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioner: Gary Hanson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss; Todd Brink, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Rebecca Mann, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, representing Walmart, Inc.; Andrew Gipson, Jones Walker, LLP, representing Boomerang Wireless, LLC dba enTouch Wireless; Katelyn Lynch-Butcher and Renee White, MidAmerican Energy Company; Jeremy Duff, Cutler Law Firm, LLP, representing Lookout Solar Park I, LLC; Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC, representing Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC; Brian Murphy, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC; NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; AJ Swanson, Arvid J. Swanson, P.C., representing Timothy and Linda Lindgren; Leslie Murphy, Lookout Solar Park I, LLC; and Jason Grenier, Matt Olsen and Cary Stephenson, Otter Tail Power Company.

Administration

1.     Approval of Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on May 14 and 28, 2019, and the Ad Hoc Meeting held on June 6, 2019 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meetings held on May 14 and 28, and the Ad Hoc meeting on June 6, 2019. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)

The Commission received a total of 40 contacts since the last report was prepared for the June 11, 2019 Commission meeting.

Seven contacts were related to telecommunication services, 12 contacts were related to electrical services, three contacts were related to natural gas service, three contacts were related to wireless service, two contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry and 13 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. 

Contacts received in 2019: 618 of the 630 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL16-020     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company Regarding its Proposed South Dakota Energy Efficiency Plan for 2017-2019 (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jason Grenier, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), asked that the Commission approve an extension of Otter Tail’s energy efficiency plan through 2020. Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Otter Tail’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve an extension of Otter Tail’s energy efficiency plan through 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL18-021     In the Matter of the Application of Otter Tail Power Company for Authority to Increase Its Electric Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac, Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Cary Stephenson, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), asked that the Commission approve the interim rate refund plan and approve the tariff sheets. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Otter Tail’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the interim rate refund plan and approve the tariff sheets. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL18-060     In the Matter of the Filing by Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of a Renewable Ready Service Tariff and Tariff Revisions to Its Energy Cost Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL18-060. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, June 25, 2019, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc06252019.mp3 .

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation and approve the terms and conditions stipulated therein and approve the tariff sheets as recommended by staff, effective August 1, 2019. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     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, Mikal Hanson)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL19-003. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, June 25, 2019, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc06252019.mp3 .

     Commissioner Nelson moved to deny the application for party status of Timothy and Linda Lindgren. Motion carried 2-1. Commissioner Hanson dissenting.

Gas and Electric

1.     GE19-003     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of a Revised Customer Information Welcome Booklet (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

     Ms. Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), asked that the Commission approve the proposed revisions to MidAmerican’s Customer Information Welcome Booklet. effective June 14, 2019. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed revisions to MidAmerican’s Customer Information Welcome Booklet. Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG19-005     In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of Revisions to Its Sample Forms and Associated Tariff Revisions (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), asked that the Commission approve the proposed tariff revisions effective July 1, 2019. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions with an effective date of July 1, 2019.Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC19-009     In the Matter of the Petition of North American Local, LLC for Designation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in the State of South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Andrew Gipson, Jones Walker, LLP, representing Boomerang Wireless, LLC dba enTouch Wireless (Boomerang), asked that the Commission grant Boomerang’s Petition to Intervene. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated staff did not object to the request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Boomerang’s Petition to Intervene. Motion carried 3-0

ADDENDUM TO THE
AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING


1.     EL18-059     In the Matter of Lookout Solar Park I, LLC for a Permit of a Solar Energy Facility in Oglala Lakota County (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jeremy Duff, Lookout Solar Park I, LLC, asked that the Commission grant the local review committee’s request for $13,500 in order to hire a consultant. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, stated staff has no objection to the request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the local review committee’s request for $13,500 in order to hire a consultant. Motion carried 3-0.


There being no further business, at the hour of 10:32 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Specialist
PUC Email
June 25, 2019