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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
January 8, 2019, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Matthew Training Center, Joe Foss Building, 523 E. Capitol Avenue
Pierre, South Dakota

NOTE:  Docket participants who wish to join this meeting by conference call, should contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. CST on Monday, January 7, 2019, to reserve a phone line. Lines are limited and assigned 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 docket discussion at 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 webcast 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.


Consumer Reports

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


1.     EL18-038       In the Matter of the Complaint of Energy of Utah, LLC and Fall River Solar, LLC Against Black Hills Power Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Determination of Avoided Cost (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On September 14, 2018, Energy of Utah and Fall River Solar, LLC (Fall River) filed a Complaint against Black Hills Power Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE) for determination of avoided cost pursuant to the Public Utility Regulatory Policy Act of 1978 (PURPA). The Complaint relates to a planned 80 megawatt solar facility Fall River is developing in Fall River County, South Dakota. BHE filed an answer on October 4, 2018. On December 19, 2018, staff filed a Motion for Procedural Schedule. On December 20, 2018, the Commission issued an Order for and Notice of Motion Hearing on Less Than 10 Days’ Notice.

     TODAY, shall the Commission issue a procedural schedule? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

2.     EL18-057       In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Cam-Wal Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

On December 14, 2018, Commission staff (staff) filed an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Cam-Wal Electric Cooperative, Inc. This filing is made pursuant to current efforts of the Commission to verify electric territory mapping data for conversion to electronic format and use in a Geographic Information System (GIS) database. With the assistance of the above-referenced utilities, staff has confirmed the service territory boundary shared by these utilities and has prepared updated mapping information. Staff asks for approval of the agreement to update official mapping data to properly reflect the service territory boundaries shared by the utilities in this docket.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement?


1.     Election of a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson of the Commission (Commission Attorney: Adam de Hueck)

South Dakota Codified Law 49-1-8 states in part that, “The members of the Commission shall elect a chairperson by majority vote and prescribe his duties.” SDCL 49-1-12 requires that, “Every vote and official action of the Public Utilities Commission shall be entered of record and its proceedings shall be public upon the request of either party or any person interested.” SDCL 1-25-1 requires that all official meetings of Commission be open to the public. Accordingly, the determination of the Commission’s leadership structure shall be made at this public meeting.

     TODAY, how shall the Commission provide for its Executive Leadership?

Pipeline Safety

1.     PS18-002       In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for a Waiver of 49 CFR § 192.481(a) (Pipeline Safety Program Manager: Mary Zanter, Pipeline Safety Inspector: Boice Hillmer; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On November 21, 2018, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern) filed for a waiver of 49 CFR § 192.481(a), a federal code governing the inspection of natural gas pipelines for atmospheric corrosion. The federal standard has been adopted by the State of South Dakota pursuant to SDCL 49-34B-3. NorthWestern requests the ability to decrease inspection for atmospheric corrosion from once every three calendar years, with intervals not exceeding 39 months, to every four years, with intervals not exceeding 51 months. In support of its request, NorthWestern asserts that over the past eight years, atmospheric corrosion leaks accounted for less than 1percent of its total leaks.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the requested waiver? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

Items for Commission Discussion

Public Comment

Individuals who wish to make public comments to the commission may do so in person during this time. All who offer public comment are requested to sign in at the commission meeting. Time limits for comments may be determined at the discretion of the chairperson.


  1. The PUC will host a Briefing for Legislators on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. CST in Room 414 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, South Dakota. The agenda is to discuss current issues related to renewable energy development, telecommunications, grain warehouses, pipeline safety, and energy regulation.

  2. The next regular commission meeting will be Friday, January 18, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. CST in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, South Dakota.

  3. Commission meetings are scheduled for February 1 and 15, 2019.

/s/Cindy Kemnitz     .
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
PUC Email
January 2, 2019