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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
August 4, 2020, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
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. CDT on Monday, August 3, 2020, 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 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.

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.

AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

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 13, 2020, Venture Communications Cooperative (Venture) filed a complaint against AT&T Mobility (Mobility) for failing to pay for local interconnection facilities ordered by Mobility in Access Service Requests (ASRs) at the rates set forth in Venture’s price list. The Commission established an answer deadline of June 2, 2020. On June 16, 2020, Mobility filed an answer and counterclaim. On July 2, 2020, Venture filed a Reply to Counterclaim. The parties have come to an agreement for a procedural schedule and anticipate filing a Stipulation and Joint Motion for a procedural schedule no later than July 30, 2020.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Joint Motion and Adopt a Procedural Schedule?

Electric

1.      EL19-034        In the Matter of the Application of Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of a Revision to the Commercial and Industrial Energy Efficiency Solutions Adjustment (EESA) Rates (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On October 1, 2019, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHP) filed for approval of a revision to its Energy Efficiency Solutions Adjustment (EESA) Rate for commercial and industrial services. BHP requests approval to revise this EESA rate effective December 1, 2019. Specifically, BHP proposed to increase the Commercial and Industrial Service EESA rate of $0.0010/kWh to $0.0015/kWh. BHP also filed its Energy Efficiency Plan Status Report for Program Year 2018 and Balancing Account for Program Year 2018. The Commission signed an order approving the Energy Efficiency Solutions Plan status report for program year 2018 and updated EESA Cost Recovery Factors on November 27, 2019. On June 1, 2020, BHP filed a Notification to the Commission of the intentions of BHP to not seek approval of a new Energy Efficiency Solutions Plan. On June 24, 2020, BHP filed an Amended Notification regarding Intentions to not seek approval of a new Energy Efficiency Solutions Plan.

         TODAY, 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 Commission received an Application for a Facility Permit (Application) from Meridian Wind Project, LLC (Meridian or Applicant). 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 Bramhall, South Dakota. 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-kV electrical collector lines, underground fiber-optic cable, a 34.5-kV to 345-kV collection substation, and one permanent meteorological tower. On July 20, 2020, Commission staff filed a Motion to Compel Discovery seeking to compel discovery responses from Applicant.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Motion to Compel Discovery? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

3.      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 Project is expected to be completed in 2022. Applicant estimates the total cost of the Project to be $190 million. On July 14, 2020, the Commission received an application for party status for the Bundorf Family Trust and on July 28, 2020, the Commission issued an Order Granting Party Status to the Bundorf Family Trust. On July 28, 2020, staff filed a Motion for Adoption of Procedural Schedule.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Motion and adopt a Procedural Schedule?

4.      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. Otter Tail plans to submit a Supplemental Filing on or before July 30, 2020.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve Otter Tail Power Company’s Phase-In Rider Rate and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of September 1, 2020?

5.      EL20-021        In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions to its Rates for Cogeneration and Small Power Production Facilities (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On June 30, 2020, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) filed a request for approval of tariff revisions to update its Rate QF – Cogeneration and Small Power Production Facilities tariff (Rate QF). This filing updates Rate QF energy and capacity credits based on MidAmerican’s current avoided costs. MidAmerican requests an effective date of August 15, 2020.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve MidAmerican’s tariff revisions with an effective date of August 15, 2020?

Gas and Electric

1.      GE17-003       In the Matter of Staff’s Request to Investigate the Effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on South Dakota Utilities (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

         On December 21, 2017, the Commission received a filing from Commission staff (staff) requesting a docket be opened to investigate the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on South Dakota utilities. On December 29, 2017, the Commission issued an Order Requiring Comments; Order Requiring Rates in Effect January 1, 2018, are Subject to Refund; Order Granting Intervention. On May 15, 2019, the Commission issued an Order Granting Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation Between staff and MidAmerican. On April 17, 2020, the Commission issued an Order Approving MidAmerican’s Term Reconciliations, effective May 1, 2020. On July 16, 2020, MidAmerican filed a letter regarding its electric and natural gas TERM reconciliations for the second effective period. MidAmerican proposes that all electric classes be considered within an acceptable tolerance and no additional refund be required. MidAmerican proposes all natural gas classes be considered within an acceptable tolerance and no additional refund be required, with the exception of the Small Volume Sales class for which MidAmerican proposes a new TERM factor be effective for the billing month of September 2020.   

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve MidAmerican Energy Company’s 2nd TERM reconciliations and revised tariff page effective August 28, 2020?

2.      GE20-003       In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of a Revised Customer Information Welcome Booklet (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On July 14, 2020, the Commission received a filing from MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican) for approval of a revised Customer Information Welcome Booklet. Pursuant to ARSD 20:10:16:02, the Customer Information Welcome Booklet shall be submitted to the Commission for approval. MidAmerican requests an effective date of September 1, 2020.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed revisions to MidAmerican Energy Company’s Customer Information Welcome Booklet?  

Telecommunications

1.      TC20-012        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 Spectrotel, Inc. dba OneTouch Communications dba Touch Base Communications for the State of South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On June 19, 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 Spectrotel, Inc. dba OneTouch Communications dba Touch Base Communications for the State of South Dakota. 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?

2.      TC20-037        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Northern Valley Communications, LLC (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         On July 7, 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 Northern Valley Communications, LLC. 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?

3.      TC20-038        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Airus, Inc. fka IntelePeer, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         On July 8, 2020, the Commission received a filing pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 252 for approval of an Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Airus, Inc fka IntelePeer, Inc. 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?

4.      TC20-039        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Onvoy, LLC (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         On July 8, 2020, the Commission received a filing pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 252 for approval of an Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Onvoy, LLC. 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?

5.TC20-040        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and EnTelegent Solutions, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On July 9, 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 EnTelegent Solutions, Inc. 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?

6.      TC20-041        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and BCN Telecom, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On July 9, 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 BCN Telecom, Inc. 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?

7.      TC20-042        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Peerless Network of South Dakota, LLC (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On July 9, 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 Peerless Network of South Dakota, LLC. 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?

8.      In the Matter of the Request for Certification Regarding the Use of Federal Universal Service Support in Dockets TC20-007, TC20-008, TC20-017, TC20-032, TC20-034 and TC20-036

TC20-007        In the Matter of the Request of Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Study Area: 391654) (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Commission Attorney: Adam de Hueck)

         On June 8, 2020, the Commission received an application from Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. (Company) requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C. Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company. On July 23, 2020, the Company responded to staff’s data request.

         TC20-008        In the Matter of the Request of Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., fka SSTELECOM, Inc. for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Study Area: 399013) (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Commission Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On June 8, 2020, the Commission received an application from Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., fka SSTELECOM, Inc. (Company) requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C. Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company.

         TC20-017        In the Matter of the Request of Kennebec Telephone Co., Inc. for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Study Area 391668) (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Commission Attorney: Adam de Hueck)

         On June 24, 2020, the Commission received an application from Kennebec Telephone Co., Inc. (Company) requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C. Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company.

         TC20-032        In the Matter of the Request of West River Telecommunications Cooperative for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Study Area: Mobridge–391671) (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Commission Attorney: Adam de Hueck)

         On June 29, 2020, the Commission received an application from West River Telecommunications Cooperative, Mobridge, (Company) requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C. Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company. On July 9, 2020, the Company responded to staff’s data requests.

         TC20-034        In the Matter of the Request of Midstate Communications, Inc. for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Study Areas: ILEC-391670 and CLEC-399011) (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Commission Attorney: Adam de Hueck)

         On June 30, 2020, the Commission received an application from Midstate Communications, Inc. (Company) requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C. Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company. On July 14, 2020, the Company responded to staff’s data requests.

         TC20-036        In the Matter of the Request of Midcontinent Communications for Certification Regarding Its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Study Area: 399005) (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Commission Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On July 1, 2020, the Commission received an application from Midcontinent Communications (Company) requesting the Commission to issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C. Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company. On July 22 and 23, 2020, the Company responded to staff’s data request. 

         TODAY, shall the Commission provide a certification to the Federal Communications Commission and to the Universal Service Administration Company regarding the use of Federal Universal Service Support in each of the above dockets?

9.      TC20-021        In the Matter of the Request of Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC for Certification Regarding its Use of Federal Universal Service Support (Study Area 361123) (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Commission Attorney: Karen Cremer)

         On June 24, 2020, the Commission received an application from Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC (Company) requesting the Commission grant a waiver of the Commission’s ETC filing requirements pursuant to ARSD 20:10:32:56, on grounds that the reporting requirements in support of ETC certification are unduly burdensome and unnecessary. The Company also requests that the Commission issue a certification to the FCC and USAC indicating it is in compliance with 47 U.S.C. Section 254(e) and should receive all federal universal service support determined for distribution to the Company. On July 6 and 16, 2020, the Company responded to staff’s data requests.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant the waiver and certify Citizens Telecommunications Company of Minnesota, LLC?

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 commission.

Announcements

1.   The next regular commission meeting will be held Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. CDT in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, South Dakota.

2.   Commission meetings are scheduled for September 1 and 15, 2020.

 

  /s/ Cindy Kemnitz           .

Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
July 28, 2020