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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
December 11, 2018, at 8:30 A.M. CST
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: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Joseph Rezac, Eric Paulson and Darren Kearney; Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Joy Lashley.

Present were: Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Bob Mercer, reporter; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; Tim Czmowski, Dave Kindt, Mark Minter and David Bero, Agropur Dairy Cooperative; and Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing South Dakota Telecommunications Association.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Lisa Agrimonti, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Deuel Harvest Wind Energy LLC; Jason Grenier, Otter Tail Power Company; Pam Bonrud, Tim Olson and Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Energy Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Codi Gregg, South Dakota One Call; and Eric Pauli, Jessica Peterson, Jon Packer, Erin Buchannan, Ryan Long, Tom Kramer, Chris Buboltz, Grant Stevenson, Michelle Terwilliger, Benj Halama, Holly Hinman, Rebecca Eilers and Chris Shaw, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy.

Administration

1.     Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meetings Held on November 15, 2018 (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on November 15, 2018. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)

The Commission received a total of 48 contacts since the last report was prepared for the November 27, 2018 Commission meeting.

Five contacts involved telecommunication services, 12 contacts were related to electrical services, three contacts were related to natural gas service, one contact was related to gas and electric service, five contacts were related to wireless service, two contacts were related to wind energy, nine contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, two contacts were related to the Grain Warehouse Division and nine contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

Contacts received in 2018: 1,306 of the 1,317 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL14-106      In the Matter of the Application of NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy for Authority to Increase its Electric Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), asked that the Commission grant NorthWestern’s request to deviate from the terms of the Stipulation and not make the Stipulation’s required adjustments to base rates and the one-time refund of O & M expenses, thereby maintaining the existing base rates. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve NorthWestern’s request.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to grant NorthWestern’s request to deviate from the terms of the Stipulation and not make the Stipulation’s required adjustments to base rates and the one-time refund of O & M expenses, thereby maintaining the existing base rates.Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL16-020      In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company Regarding its Proposed South Dakota Energy Efficiency Plan for 2017-2019 (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL16-020. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2018, December 11, 2018, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2018/puc12112018.mp3 .

         Commissioner Hanson moved to approve an annual budget increase of $250,000 for Otter Tail’s Energy Efficiency Plan in years 2019 through 2021 and approve the rebate amount cap of $250,000 per year in years 2019 through 2021 for the single large industrial customer. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL18-023     In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2017 Demand Side Management Report and 2019 Proposed Demand Side Management Plan (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked that the Commission approve Xcel’s 2017 DSM Status Report and tracker account, the performance incentive earned for 2017, the proposed 2019 DSM Plan, and the proposed 2019 DSM Cost Adjustment Factor of $0.000464 per kWh with a January 1, 2019, effective date. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel’s request with staff’s conditions.

            Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve Xcel’s 2017 DSM Status Report and tracker account, the performance incentive earned for 2017, the proposed 2019 DSM Plan, and the proposed 2019 DSM Cost Adjustment Factor of $0.000464 per kWh with a January 1, 2019, effective date with staff’s conditions. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL18-036      In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2019 Transmission Cost Recovery Eligibility and Rate Adjustment (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked that the Commission approve the TCR rate factor and updated tariff sheet with an effective date of January 1, 2019. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the TCR rate factor and updated tariff sheet with an effective date of January 1, 2019. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     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)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL18-040. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2018, December 11, 2018, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2018/puc12112018.mp3.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the proposed projects as eligible for recovery and approve the infrastructure rider adjustment factor of $0.006853 per kWh and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of January 1, 2019.Motion carried 3-0.

6.     EL18-049      In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy and Butte Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy and Butte Electric Cooperative, Inc.

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

7.     EL18-053      In the Matter of the Application of Deuel Harvest Wind Energy LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility and a 345-kV Transmission Line in Deuel County (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess Deuel Harvest Wind Energy LLC (Deuel Harvest Wind), a filing fee not to exceed $400,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000 and authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts. Ms. Lisa Agrimonti, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Deuel Harvest Wind, stated Deuel Harvest Wind had no objection to the requests.

         Commissioner Fiegen moved to assess a filing fee not to exceed $400,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000 and authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts.Motion carried 3-0.

One Call

1.     OC17-019     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Watertown Municipal Utilities, Watertown, SD, Against Cable Specialists Inc., Sioux Falls, SD for an Incident Occurring on August 24, 2017, at 502 E Kemp Ave, Watertown, S.D. (One Call Executive Director: Larry Janes; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         Ms. Codi Gregg, South Dakota One Call, asked that the Commission bring an action in the name of the State of South Dakota pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-28 for the collection of the penalty.

         Commissioner Nelson moved to bring an action in the name of the State of South Dakota pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-28 for the collection of the penalty for $2000. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     OC18-001     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P., Tulsa, OK Against White River Construction, Chadron, Nebraska, for an Incident Occurring on Dec 14, 2017, at 24275 S Hwy 79, Hermosa, S.D. (One Call Executive Director: Larry Janes; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Codi Gregg, South Dakota One Call, asked that the Commission bring an action in the name of the State of South Dakota pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-28 for the collection of the penalty.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to bring an action in the name of the State of South Dakota pursuant to SDCL 49-7A-28 for the collection of the penalty for $1000. 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)

Mr. Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), asked that the Commission grant STDA and Crown Castle Fiber, LLC’s (Crown Castle) request to include the terms and conditions as set forth in the Joint Stipulation. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant Crown Castle’s request for a Certificate for Authority to provide local exchange and interexchange long distance services in South Dakota, grant STDA and Crown Castle’s request to include the terms and conditions as set forth in the Joint Stipulation and grant Crown Castle’s request for a waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:10.

         Commissioner Nelson moved to grant Crown Castle’s request for a Certificate for Authority to provide local exchange and interexchange long distance services in South Dakota, grant STDA and Crown Castle’s request to include the terms and conditions as set forth in the Joint Stipulation and grant Crown Castle’s request for a waiver of ARSD 20:10:32:10. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     In the Matter of the Failure of Native American Telecom LLC – Pine Ridge to Timely Pay their Gross Receipts Tax for Calendar Year 2017 (Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz)

Ms. Cindy Kemnitz, Finance Manager, stated that Native American Telecom LLC – Pine Ridge paid its gross receipts tax and no further action was needed.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:22 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Assistant
PUC Email
December 11, 2018