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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
September 15, 2020, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
SDDOT Commission Room, Becker-Hansen Building, 700 E. Broadway Ave.
Pierre, South Dakota

SEATING IS LIMITED. Docket participants who plan to attend the meeting, either in person or by conference call, should contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. CDT on Monday, September 14, 2020. Phone participants will be given a reserved phone line.

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.



1.      Approval of Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on August 18 and September 1, 2020 (Staff: Macy Jo Murren)

Consumer Reports

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

Grain Warehouse

1.      GW20-003      In the Matter of the Request for Approval of Settlement Stipulation regarding Violations of SDCL 49-45 by Dakota AgSynergy (Grain Warehouse Program Manager: Cody Chambliss; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

         On July 31, 2020, staff filed a Stipulation and Settlement Agreement between staff and Dakota AgSynergy. In this uncontested matter, Dakota AgSynergy admitted to purchasing grain in the State of South Dakota without a license. Staff and Dakota AgSynergy worked together to come to an agreement as to the appropriate penalty and now ask the Commission to approve that agreement as set forth in the Stipulation and Settlement Agreement. At its regularly scheduled meeting on September 1, 2020, the Commission considered the matter and deferred the docket, requesting additional information.

         TODAY, shall the Commission adopt the Stipulation and Settlement Agreement? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?


1.      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 31, 2020, staff filed a Motion for Procedural Schedule. On August 21, 2020, Applicant filed a Motion to Extend Deadline for Commission Action. Applicant’s Motion came before the Commission on September 1, 2020, at which time the matter was deferred in order to give the Parties an opportunity to work out a procedural schedule. On September 9, 2020, staff filed an Amended Motion for Procedural Schedule.

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant Applicant’s Motion to Extend Deadline for Commission Action? AND, shall the Commission grant staff’s Amended Motion for Procedural Schedule? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

2.      EL20-025        In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2021 Transmission Cost Recovery Eligibility and Rate Adjustment (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On September 1, 2020, the Commission received a petition from Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel) for approval of its 2021 Transmission Cost Recovery (TCR) Rider, TCR rate factor, and tracker account report. For 2021, Xcel proposes recovery of the South Dakota jurisdictional portion of the revenue requirements related to 22 transmission projects located throughout its service territory. Xcel proposes to include five new projects for 2021 and proposes to remove two previously approved projects until the projects are placed in-service. Xcel proposes to recover $7.2 million associated with the 22 transmission projects for the 2021 calendar year. Included in the $7.2 million figure is the 2020 over-collection balance of $157,826. The total of the transmission investment costs and the tracker balance results in an average bill impact of $2.58 per month for a typical residential electric customer using 750 kWh per month. This is an increase of $0.31 per month from the current TCR Rider recovery. Xcel proposes to implement a rate of $0.003446 per kWh applied to all energy billed to each customer class beginning January 1 through December 31, 2021. This represents an increase of $0.000419 from the existing rate of $0.003027 per kWh.

         TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee in the amount of up to $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date?

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 comments are requested to sign in at the commission meeting or 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.


1.   The next regular commission meeting will be held Tuesday, September 29, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. CDT in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, South Dakota.

2.   Commission meetings are scheduled for October 13 and 28, 2020.


/s/ Cindy Kemnitz                 .

Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
September 9, 2020