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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
November 8, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

NOTE: If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. CST on Monday, November 7, 2011. Lines are limited and are given out on a first come, first served basis, subject to possible reassignment to accommodate persons who must appear in a proceeding. Ultimately, if you wish to participate in the Commission Meeting and a line is not available, you may have to appear in person.

NOTE: To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC's website and click on the LIVE link on the home page. The Commission requests persons who will only be listening to proceedings and not actively appearing in a case listen via the web cast to free phone lines for those who have to appear. The Commission meetings are archived on the PUC's website under the Commission Actions tab, Click on "Commission Meeting Archives," to access the recordings.

NOTE: Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.



1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on October 25, 2011. (Staff: Joy Irving)

Consumer Reports

1.      Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)


1.     EL11-006     In the Matter of the Complaint by Oak Tree Energy LLC against NorthWestern Energy for refusing to enter into a Purchase Power Agreement. (Staff Analysts: Chris Daugaard, Brian Rounds, Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler, Ryan Soye).

On April 28, 2011 Oak Tree Energy LLC (Oak Tree) filed a complaint against NorthWestern Energy (NWE). The dispute involves a proposed wind generation project located in Clark County, South Dakota. Oak Tree argues the project is a "Qualified Facility" under PURPA regulations and as a result NWE is required to purchase power produced by the wind farm. Oak Tree alleges that NWE refuses to enter into a purchase power agreement and requests the Commission hear and resolve all issues. On September 7, 2011, Oak Tree filed a Motion to Compel asking the Commission to order NWE to disclose information sought during the prehearing discovery process. Many of the issues presented in this Motion to Compel were resolved through the informal exchange of information. Oak Tree renewed its Motion to Compel on October 13, 2011, for all remaining matters.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Oak Tree's renewed Motion to Compel for disclosure of information by NWE?


1.     TC10-026     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Sprint Communications Company, LP Against Native American Telecom, LLC Regarding Telecommunications Services. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On May 4, 2010, the Commission received a complaint from Sprint Communications Company, LP (Sprint) against Native American Telecom, LLC (NAT), in which Sprint seeks: 1) a determination that the Public Utilities Commission (Commission) has the sole authority to regulate Sprint's intrastate interexchange services and that NAT lacks authority to bill Sprint for switched access services without a Certificate of Authority and valid tariff on file with the Commission; 2) a declaration that because the Commission has the sole authority over Sprint's intrastate interexchange services, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Utility Authority is without jurisdiction over Sprint; 3) a determination that NAT must repay Sprint the amounts it inadvertently paid NAT for unauthorized and illegal switched access charges. On May 12, 2011, Sprint filed a Motion to Compel. On October 28, 2011, NAT filed its response to the Motion to Compel. On October 31, 2011, Sprint filed its Reply Memorandum.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Motion to Compel?

2.     TC11-010     In the Matter of the Filing by Aventure Communication Technology, LLC dba Aventure Communications for Approval of its Switched Access Services Tariff No. 3 (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

On March 18, 2011, Aventure Communication Technology, LLC dba Aventure Communications (Aventure) filed for approval of its Switched Access Services Tariff No. 3. This tariff cancels and replaces in its entirety South Dakota Tariff No. 2. The Company is filing this replacement tariff to provide for greater consistency in the terms and conditions associated with its provision of interstate and intrastate access service. The terms and conditions set forth in the tariff mirror in nearly all respects (with the exception of references specific to the interstate vs. intrastate jurisdictions) the Company's Tariff FCC No. 3, which became effective on December 30, 2010. On October 27, 2011, Aventure filed a Motion to Withdraw its proposed tariff filed with the Commission on March 17, 2011.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Motion to Withdraw the tariff filing?

3.     TC11-087     In the Matter of the Application of Native American Telecom, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Interexchange Telecommunications Services and Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On October 11, 2011, Native American Telecom, LLC (NAT) filed an application for a certificate of authority to provide local exchange and interexchange service within the study area of Midstate Communications, Inc. NAT states that it is a tribally-owned full service telecommunications carrier operating on the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Indian Reservation pursuant to an Order Granting Approval to Provide Telecommunications Service by the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe Crow Creek Utility Authority dated October 28, 2008. NAT seeks to expand its authority to include areas within Midstate's study area off of the Crow Creek reservation. On October 13, 2011, Midstate Communications, Inc. filed a Petition to Intervene. On October 26, 2011, AT&T Communication of the Midwest, Inc. filed a Petition to Intervene. On October 28, 2011, Sprint Communications Company, L.P., Qwest Communications LLC dba CenturyLink, and South Dakota Telecommunications Association filed Petitions to Intervene.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Intervention to all parties?

Items for Commission Discussion


  1. Commissioners will attend a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, November 4, 2011, at 11:30 a.m. CDT at SDN Communications' data center, 5300 N. LaMesa Drive, Sioux Falls, S.D.

  2. Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of Montana-Dakota Utilities Company on Tuesday, November 8, 2011, at 1:30 p.m. CST in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building in Pierre, S.D. The agenda is to discuss the company's winter outlook and gas pricing.

  3. A hearing in docket RM11-001 will be held Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at 9 a.m. CST in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building in Pierre, S.D.

  4. The PUC offices will be closed Friday, November 11, 2011, in observance of Veterans Day.

  5. Commissioners will attend the annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, November 13-16, 2011, at the Renaissance Grand in St. Louis, Mo.

  6. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held Tuesday, November 22, 2011, at 9:30 a.m. CST, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

  7. The PUC offices will be closed November 24-25, 2011, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

  8. Commission meetings are scheduled for December 6 and 20, 2011.

/S/Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
PUC Email
November 1, 2011