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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 26, 2020, at 1:30 P.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 10:00 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, May 26, 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 May 12, 2020 (Staff: Macy Jo Murren)

Consumer Reports

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

Telecommunications

1.      TC20-006        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs) – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and AT&T Corporation for the State of South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On April 24, 2020, the Commission received a filing pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 252 for approval of an Amendment to an Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and AT&T Corporation. The amendment incorporates forbearance orders FCC 19-66 and FCC 19-72, which were released by the Federal Communications Commission in 2019.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement?

Electric

1.      EL20-017        In the Matter of the Petition for a Declaratory Ruling regarding the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         On May 8, 2020, the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (Authority) filed a Petition for a Declaratory Ruling (Petition). The Petition seeks Commission determination on whether a proposed pass through of the cost of electricity and electric service to a subcontractor of a lessee of space at the former Homestake Mine in Lead, South Dakota subjects the Authority to regulation as an electric utility. On May 13, 2020, the Authority filed a Motion to Dismiss without Prejudice.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority’s Motion to Dismiss without Prejudice?

2.      EL20-018        In the Matter of the Application by Wild Springs Solar, LLC for a Permit of a Solar Energy Facility in Pennington County, South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On May 15, 2020, the Commission received an Application for a Facility Permit (Application) from Wild Springs Solar, LLC (Wild Springs or Applicant), a wholly owned subsidiary of Geronimo Energy, LLC. Wild Springs proposes to construct a solar energy facility to be located in Pennington County, South Dakota (Project). The Project would be situated within approximately 1,499-acres and located approximately ½ mile south of New Underwood, South Dakota. The total installed capacity of the Project would not exceed 128 megawatts (MW) of nameplate capacity. The proposed Project includes solar panels and racking, inverters, security fencing, laydown areas, Project substation, an O&M building and parking lot, on-site below-ground or above-ground electrical collection and communication lines, and up to three weather stations. The Project will interconnect to the high-voltage transmission grid via Western Area Power Administration’s New Underwood Substation, located adjacent to the Project. Applicant has entered into a Power Purchase Agreement with Basin Electric Power Cooperative to take the entire output of the Project for 15 years. The Project is expected to be completed in 2022. Applicant estimates the total cost of the Project to be $190 million.

         TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee not to exceed $295,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000? AND, shall the Commission authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts?

3.      EL20-005        In the Matter of the Filing of MidAmerican Energy Company for Determination of its Energy Cost Adjustment Factor as Applied to Repowered Wind Facilities (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On February 12, 2020, the Commission received MidAmerican Energy Company’s (MidAmerican) filing for determination of its energy cost adjustment factor as applied to repowered wind facilities. MidAmerican is currently in the process of repowering up to 510 existing wind turbines, which will qualify for new production tax credits (PTCs) under guidance from the Internal Revenue Service. With this filing, MidAmerican requests a ruling identifying that the new PTCs will not be subject to the provisions of MidAmerican’s energy cost adjustment tariff.

         TODAY, shall the Commission determine the new production tax credits are not subject to the provisions of MidAmerican Energy Company’s energy cost adjustment tariff?

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 is working remotely. 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, June 9, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. CDT.

4.   A telephonic public input meeting for docket 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 will be held Wednesday, June 10, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. CDT Call-in information: Number: 1 (866) 410-8397, Conference Code: 3224480315#. Interested persons who wish to comment are asked to call the PUC at 1-800-332-1782 by 3:00 p.m. CDT, June 10, 2020, to place their name on a list. Commenters who have pre-registered will be called on to comment first. Commenters will be given approximately 5 minutes to speak and asked to provide their name, town, and last four digits of the telephone number they are calling from.

5.   Commission meetings are scheduled for June 23 and July 7, 2020.

 

  /s/Cindy Kemnitz                       .

Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
May 19, 2020