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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
June 9, 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, June 8, 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 26, 2020 (Staff: Macy Jo Murren)

Consumer Reports

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

Complaint

1.      CT20-001        In the Matter of the Complaint of Venture Communications Cooperative against AT&T Mobility (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On May 12, 2020, Venture Communications Cooperative (Venture) filed a complaint against AT&T Mobility. The Commission established an answer deadline of June 2, 2020. On May 28, 2020, Venture, AT&T Mobility and staff (Parties) filed a Stipulation and Request for Waiver of ARSD 20:10:01:09 requesting the answer deadline be extended to on or before June 16, 2020, to allow the Parties additional time to negotiate.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Stipulation and grant the Request for Waiver of ARSD 20:10:01:09?

Electric

1.      EL18-059        In the Matter of Lookout Solar Park I, LLC for a Permit of a Solar Energy Facility in Oglala Lakota County (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)
        
         On December 17, 2018, Lookout Solar Park I, LLC (Applicant or Lookout Solar) filed an application to construct an approximately 110 megawatt (MW) solar energy conversion facility with up to 500,000 solar panels and a 230-kV Substation (Project). In addition, Applicant will construct access roads, a generator step-up transformer, an operation and maintenance facility, buried transmission lines, parking areas, and laydown areas for construction. The Project area is on approximately 810 acres of privately owned land on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota. The Project area is located approximately 22 miles east of Buffalo Gap, South Dakota, in Township 41 North (T41N), Range 48 West (R48W), Section 36 and the southern portion of Section 35. The Project is located on individually owned Indian trust land on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The 230-kV substation will be located on 10 acres of private land located near Cottonwood Cutoff on Section 14 (parcel 003478) in T6S, R8E or in Section 11 (parcel 0034688) in T6S, R8E. On November 1, 2019, the Report of the Local Review Committee was filed. On January 4, 2019, the Commission issued an Order Assessing Filing Fee; Order Authorizing Executive Director to Enter Into Consulting Contracts. The Order assessed a filing fee not to exceed $250,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000. On February 14, 2020, the Commission issued an Order Granting Joint Motion for Approval of Revised Settlement Stipulation; Order Granting Permit to Construct Energy Conversion Facility; Notice of Entry. On January 14, February 10, March 10, April 15, and May 13, 2020, payment for expenses incurred was requested from Lookout Solar. On May 18, 2020, a payment was received but it was returned by the bank on May 29, 2020. On May 29, 2020, Lookout Solar was notified that the check had been returned.

         TODAY, how shall the Commission proceed?

2.      EL20-012        In the Matter of the Joint Request for Approval of an Amended Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Black Hills Power Inc. dba Black Hills Energy and West River Electric Cooperative (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On April 7, 2020, the Commission received a joint request from West River Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy seeking to modify existing service territory boundaries in Section 11, Township 3 North, Range 6 East, in Meade County, South Dakota. This will allow for a Black Hills Energy to serve a recently subdivided lot.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Amended Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between West River Electric Cooperative and Black Hills Energy?

3.      EL20-019        In the Matter of Otter Tail Power Company’s Petition for Approval of Phase-In Rider Rate (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On June 1, 2020, the Commission received a petition by Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail) for approval of its first annual update to its Phase-in Rate Plan Rider. Otter Tail makes this filing pursuant to SDCL 49-34A-73 through 49-34A-78. In this filing, Otter Tail proposes to adjust the Phase-in Rate Plan Rider Rate to reflect the applicable rider revenue requirements for the next recovery period (September 2020 – August 2021), to recover actual and forecasted costs for the Astoria Station Natural Gas Plant project, Merricourt Wind Project, forecasted net benefits associated with additional load in the Lake Norden area, and net savings associated with Otter Tail’s retirement of its Hoot Lake Plant. Otter Tail states a typical residential electric customer using an average of 1,000 kWh per month will see an increase of $3.20 per month resulting from this filing. Otter Tail proposes an effective date of September 1, 2020.    

         TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee in the amount of up to $250,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date?

Natural Gas

1.      NG20-003       In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Its 2019 Economic Development Activities and 2020 Proposed Budget (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         On May 1, 2020, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) filed its 2019 Economic Development Activities and Proposed 2020 Budget for Commission approval. The filing included MidAmerican’s report on 2019 economic development activities, actual expenses for 2019, and the planned budget for 2020. On May 20, 2020, MidAmerican responded to staff’s data request.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve MidAmerican Energy Company’s 2019 Economic Development Activities and 2020 Proposed Budget?

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.   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 number they are calling from.

3.   The next regular commission meeting will be held Tuesday, June 23, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. CDT telephonically and in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, South Dakota.

4.   A telephonic public input meeting for docket 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 will be held Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at 6:30 p.m. MDT/7:30 p.m. CDT. Call-in information: Number: 1 (866) 410-8397, Conference Code: 3224480715#. Interested persons who wish to comment are asked to call the PUC at 1-800-332-1782 by 2:00 p.m. MDT/3:00 p.m. CDT, July 1, 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 number they are calling from.

5.   Commission meetings are scheduled for July 8 and 23, 2020.

 

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Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
June 2, 2020