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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
September 29, 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, September 28, 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 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 September 15, 2020 (Staff: Macy Jo Murren)

Consumer Reports

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


1.      TC20-048        In the Matter of the Application of Easton Telecom Services, LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         On August 18, 2020, Easton Telecom Services, LLC (Easton) filed an application for a Certificate of Authority to provide local exchange services in South Dakota. Easton seeks to provide twenty-four hour per day competitive resold local exchange services to business customers and may also provide services wholesale to other resellers and carriers. Easton intends to provide local exchange services in the service areas of CenturyLink QC. The Commission granted Easton a Certificate of Authority to provide interexchange services in South Dakota in 2010.  

         TODAY, shall the Commission grant Easton Telecom Services, LLC’s request for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota?


1.      EL19-003        In the Matter of the Application by Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility in Grant and Codington Counties (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

         On January 30, 2019, Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC (Crowned Ridge or Applicant) filed an application for a permit to construct a wind energy conversion facility to be located in Grant County and Codington County, South Dakota (Project). Applicant has executed a power purchase agreement with Northern States Power Company (NSP) to sell NSP the full output of the Project. On July 26, 2019, the Commission issued a Final Decision and Order Granting Permit to Construct Facility; Notice of Entry (Permit). On January 9, 2020, the Commission issued an Order Granting Temporary Waiver that approved Crowned Ridge to operate temporarily without low noise trailing edge (LNTE) blade attachments installed on all turbine blades subject to the curtailment of certain turbines and Crowned Ridge conducting post construction noise compliance testing in accordance with Condition 26 of the Permit. Pursuant to Condition 26, the post construction noise compliance test protocol must be approved by the Commission. On September 21, 2020, Crowned Ridge filed a 2020 Sound Level Measurement Program Protocol dated September 16, 2020, for sound testing to be completed post-LNTE installation.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the 2020 Sound Level Measurement Protocol dated September 16, 2020? OR, how shall the Commission proceed?

Natural Gas

1.      NG20-007       In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Approval of its Gas Transportation Tariff Revisions Regarding Fuel Retention Percentage (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         On August 26, 2020, the Commission received a filing from NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern). This filing proposes to update Sheet No. 6.2 in Section No. 5 of NorthWestern’s filed natural gas tariff. NorthWestern’s tariff provides that the Fuel Retention Percentage is to be updated annually and be effective October 1 each year. NorthWestern also proposes to update the fuel rate for customers with an average daily therm usage greater than 30,000. NorthWestern states that customers who fit this high usage criterion are primarily direct connect customers whose gas system is not subject to the normal losses in a distribution system. NorthWestern seeks an effective date of October 1, 2020. On September 17, 2020, the Commission received an updated filing to correct the distribution system customer rate.

         TODAY, shall the Commission approve the proposed tariff revisions effective October 1, 2020?

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 PUC office will be closed Monday, October 12, 2020, in observance of the Native American Day holiday.

2.   The next regular commission meeting will be held Tuesday, October 13, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. CDT in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, South Dakota.

3.   The PUC will host the South Dakota/North Dakota Pipeline Safety Operators Virtual Training, Wednesday, October 21, 2020.

4.   Commission meetings are scheduled for October 28 and November 12, 2020.


/s/ Cindy Kemnitz       .

Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
September 22, 2020