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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
November 8, 2016, 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, 2016. 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.


The docket title, information and question for TC16-053 have been revised.


1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on October 26, 2016 (Staff: Tina Douglas)

Consumer Reports

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


1.     EL16-021     In the Matter of the Complaint by Juhl Energy, Inc. against NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Establishing a Purchase Power Agreement (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Joseph Rezac, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

On June 23, 2016, Juhl Energy, Inc. (Juhl) filed a Complaint seeking resolution of a dispute with NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern) regarding the proper avoided cost for a long-term electric power purchase agreement. On August 4, 2016, the Parties filed a Joint Request for a Procedural Schedule. At its regularly scheduled meeting on August 16, 2016, the Commission established a Procedural Schedule. On October 24, 2016, Juhl submitted a request for Confidential Treatment of responses to NorthWestern Energy Discovery Requests 1-29 and 1-31.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Juhl’s Request for Confidential Treatment?

Natural Gas

1.      NG16-011       In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions Regarding the Addition of a Producers of Renewable Gas Transportation Service (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

On September 26, 2016, the Commission received a filing from MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) for approval of tariff revisions. MidAmerican proposes to add a new Producer of Renewable Gas Transportation Service to its gas tariff. The new tariff will allow producers to inject renewable gas into MidAmerican’s gas distribution system for use and consumption by South Dakota gas transportation customers served by MidAmerican. MidAmerican requests an effective date of November 9, 2016. On October 25, 2016, MidAmerican responded to staff’s data request. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the tariff revisions with an effective date of November 9, 2016?


1.     In the Matter of the Failure of Certain Telecommunications Companies to Timely Pay their Gross Receipts Tax (Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz)

     The following companies have failed to timely pay their gross receipts tax as required by SDCL 49-1A:

Long Distance Providers:
Gold Line Telemanagement Inc.
Net One International Inc.
Stratus Networks Inc.

VoIP Providers:
TTUSA Acquisition Inc.

Wireless Providers:
The People’s Operator USA LLC
Defense Mobile Corporation
Ztar Mobile Inc.

     TODAY, shall the Commission issue an Order to Show Cause as to why the Commission should not fine, and/or suspend or revoke the Certificates of Authority of each of these companies for failure to pay the requisite gross receipts tax?

2.      TC16-009     In the Matter of the Application of Clarity Telecom, LLC dba Vast Broadband for an Amended Certificate of Authority (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On June 20, 2016, the Commission received an Application for Amended Certificate of Authority (Application) from Clarity Telecom, LLC dba Vast Broadband (Clarity). In the Application, Clarity seeks an amendment to its existing certificate of authority in order to allow Clarity to provide local exchange service in the Brookings, South Dakota, service area. Intervention was granted to South Dakota Telecommunications Association, Brookings Municipal Utilities dba Swiftel Communications, and MCC Telephony of the Midwest, Inc. dba Mediacom. On October 25, 2016, Clarity filed a Motion to Dismiss, seeking to withdraw its Application.

     TODAY, shall the Commission allow Clarity to withdraw its Application? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

3.      TC16-053     In the Matter of the Application of Blackfoot Communications, 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)

On August 29, 2016, the Commission received a filing from Blackfoot Communications, Inc. (Blackfoot) requesting a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange and interexchange long distance services in South Dakota. On September 19, 2016, Blackfoot submitted a letter of clarification on Application for Certificate of Authority clarifying that Blackfoot intends to provide competitive local exchange services to subscribers within CenturyLink territories only. Blackfoot responded to staff’s data requests on September 30 and October 31, 2016.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Blackfoot’s request for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange and Interexchange Long Distance Services in South Dakota?

Items for Commission Discussion


  1. The PUC offices will be closed Friday, November 11, 2016, in observance of Veterans Day.

  2. Commissioners will attend the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners Annual Meeting, November 13-16, 2016, at the La Quinta Resort & Club, La Quinta, Calif.

  3. The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be Tuesday, November 22, 2016, at 9:30 a.m. CST in Room 414 at the State Capitol, Pierre, S.D.

  4. The PUC offices will be closed Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25, 2016, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

  5. Commission meetings are scheduled for December 6 and 20, 2016.


/s/Leah Mohr                                      .
Leah Mohr
Deputy Executive Director
PUC Email
November 3, 2016