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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 12, 2020, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Conference Call Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the PUC meeting will be held via conference call.

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. CDT on Monday, May 11, 2020, to reserve a phone line.

NOTE:  To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC’s website www.puc.sd.gov 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.

AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

Administration

1.   Approval of Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on April 29, 2020 (Staff: Macy Jo Murren)

Consumer Reports

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

Telecommunications

1       TC20-002        In the Matter of the Application of Simwood Inc. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange and Interexchange Long Distance Services in the State of South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On February 24, 2020, Simwood Inc. (Simwood) filed an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange and interexchange services in South Dakota. The company does not intend to offer services in rural territories and will not render pre-paid services that require money in advance of services rendered. On April 27, 2020, Simwood responded to staff’s data requests.

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

Electric

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, Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         On September 14, 2018, Energy of Utah and Fall River Solar, LLC (Fall River Solar) 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 Solar is developing in Fall River County, South Dakota. BHE filed an answer on October 4, 2018. On March 9, 2020, an Order For and Notice of Evidentiary Hearing on April 14, 2020, was issued. On April 1, 2020, the Commission issued an Order Granting Stipulation and Joint Motion for Continuance of Procedural Schedule, which set the evidentiary hearing to begin June 3, 2020. On April 30, 2020, BHE filed a Motion to Continue Administrative Hearing and Scheduling Order.

TODAY, shall the Commission grant Black Hills Energy’s Motion to Continue Administrative Hearing and Scheduling Order? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

2.      EL20-013          In the Matter of the Application by Meridian Wind Project, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility and a 345-kV Transmission Facility in Hyde County, South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         On April 23, 2020, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission (Commission) received an Application for a Facility Permit (Application) from Meridian Wind Project, LLC (Meridian or Applicant), a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of ENGIE North America, Inc. Meridian proposes to construct a wind energy conversion facility and an 8.9-mile, 345-kV transmission line to be located in Hyde County, South Dakota (Project). The Project would be situated within approximately 15,043-acres in the townships of Van Order, Eagle, Chapelle, Highmore, and Holabird, South Dakota (Project Area). The total installed capacity of the Project would not exceed 175 megawatts (MW) of nameplate capacity. The proposed Project includes up to 64 wind turbine generators, access roads to turbines and associated facilities, underground 34.5-kilovolt (kV) electrical collector lines, underground fiber-optic cable, a 34.5-kV to 345-kV collection substation, and one permanent meteorological tower. The Project will interconnect to the high-voltage transmission grid via a 345- kV interconnection switch station (Chapelle Station) located at the western end of the Project’s transmission line. Chappelle Station is owned and operated by Basin Electric Power Cooperative and is under construction in conjunction with the Triple H Wind Project. The power produced by the Project will be injected at the Chappelle Creek Substation and into Basin Electric Power Cooperative’s existing electrical infrastructure. The Project, at the time of filing this application, has not executed a Power Purchase Agreement. The Project is expected to be completed in 2021. Applicant estimates the total cost of the Project to be $220 million.

         TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee not to exceed $310,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000? AND, shall the Commission authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts?

Items for Commission Discussion

Public Comment

Individuals who wish to make public comments to the commission may do so during this time. All who offer public comment are requested to let the commission know of their wish to speak when they call in to reserve a phone line. Time limits for comments may be determined at the discretion of the commission.

Announcements

1.   Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission office in the State Capitol building will be closed through May 29, 2020. PUC commissioners and staff will telework during this period. If you need to reach the PUC, please email PUC@state.sd.us or call (605) 773-3201.

2.   The PUC office will be closed Monday, May 25, 2020, in observance of Memorial Day.

3.   The next regular commission meeting will be held telephonically, Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. CDT.

4.   Commission meetings are scheduled for June 9 and 23, 2020.

 

 

 /s/Cindy Kemnitz                           .
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
May 5, 2020