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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
October 16, 2018, at 9:30 A.M. CDT
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairperson Kristie Fiegen called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioners: Chris Nelson and Gary Hanson; Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Patrick Steffensen, Brittany Mehlhaff, Joseph Rezac, Eric Paulson and Lorena Reichert; Grain Warehouse Manager: Cody Chambliss; Grain Warehouse Inspector: Paul Kenefick-Aschoff; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Katlyn Gustafson.

Present were:
Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup LLP, representing South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Flying Cow Wind, LLC.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Eric Munz, Public Liaison Officer, Dakota Access Pipeline; Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Aude Schwarzkopf, conEdison Development; Ken Schlimgem, Central Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Dave Peterson, Chesapeake Regulatory Consultants, Inc, representing PUC Staff; Tamie Aberle, Garret Senger, Travis Jacobson and Stephanie Bosch, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; and DeAnn Holzwarth, McIntosh-Watauga Equity.

Administration

1.     Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on September 18, 2018, and Ad Hoc meeting held on September 21, 2018. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on September 18, 2018, and Ad Hoc meeting held on September 21, 2018. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 134 contacts since the last report was prepared for the September 18, 2018, Commission meeting.

Thirteen contacts involved telecommunication services, 36 contacts were related to electrical services, nine contacts were related to natural gas service, 12 contacts were related to wireless service, 27 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, nine contacts were related to the Grain Warehouse, two contacts were related to Wind Energy, three contacts were related to the Keystone XL project, one contact was related to One Call and 22 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. 

Complaints received in 2018: 1,102 of the 1,116 have been resolved.

A brief discussion was held on the DAPL liaison report. No complaints or inquiries were received regarding DAPL or the report.

Electric

1.     EL18-037     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between City of Hawarden and Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Brad Schardin, Southeastern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Southeastern), asked that the Commission approve the electric service territory boundary agreement between Southeastern and the City of Hawarden, IA. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL18-039     In the Matter of the Application of Flying Cow Wind, LLC for a Facility Permit to Construct a 345 kV Transmission Line and Associated Facilities in Deuel County (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess Flying Cow Wind, LLC (FCW), a filing fee not to exceed $49,625 with an initial deposit of $8,000 and authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts. Mr. Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing FCW, had no objections to staff’s requests.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to assess a filing fee not to exceed $49,625 with an initial deposit of $8,000 and authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL18-040     In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of its 2019 Infrastructure Rider Project Eligibility and Factor Update (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy, 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.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to 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, effective January 1, 2019. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL18-041     In the Matter of the Joint Request for Service Rights Exception between NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy and Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), asked that the Commission approve the requested service rights exception between NorthWestern and Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Central Electric). Mr. Ken Schlimgen, Central Electric, had no objection to the request. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested service rights exception between Central Electric and NorthWestern.Motion carried 3-0.

Gas & 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)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket GE17-003. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2018, October 16, 2018, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2018/puc10162018.mp3 .

Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant the joint motion for approval of settlement stipulation and approve the terms and conditions stipulated therein, and that the company’s short term cost of capital interest rate be applied to the refund.

Commissioner Nelson moved to amend the main motion that a seven percent interest rate shall be applied to the 2018 refunds. Motion carried 2-1, Hanson dissenting

The Commission voted on the amended motion to grant the joint motion for approval of settlement stipulation and approve the terms and conditions stipulated therein, and that a seven percent interest rate be applied to the refund. Motion carried 3-0.

Grain Warehouse

1.     GW18-002     In the Matter of the Stipulation and Settlement Agreement Between McIntosh-Watauga Equity and PUC Staff (Grain Warehouse Manager: Cody Chambliss; Staff Attorneys: Amanda Reiss; Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Cody Chambliss, Grain Warehouse Manager, recommended that the Commission approve McIntosh-Watauga Equity a fine in the amount of $2000. Mr. Chambliss stated McIntosh-Watauga Equity did not timely renew its grain buyer and grain warehouse licenses and subsequently took in sixty loads of grain without the required licenses. Ms. DeAnn Holzwarth, McIntosh-Watauga Equity, did not object.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the Settlement Agreement. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC18-057     In the Matter of the Application of Crown Castle Fiber LLC for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange and Interexchange Long Distance Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup LLP, representing South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), asked that the Commission approve SDTA’s petition to intervene. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve SDTA’s intervention.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant SDTA’s Petition to Intervene. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:37 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

 

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
October 16, 2018