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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 1, 2019, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building

Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioner: Chris Nelson; Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Brittany Mehlhaff, Eric Paulson, Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber and Joseph Rezac; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Present were:
Kara Semmler, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Flying Cow Wind, LLC; Anne-Marie Griger, Flying Cow Wind, LLC; Mike Whalen, Michael J. Whalen Law Office, Prof. LLC, representing Charles Mix Electric Association, Inc.; Jason Keil, Black Hills Power Inc., dba Black Hills Energy; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup LLP, representing South Dakota Rural Electric Association; Russell Crall, Charles Mix Electric Association, Inc.; and Brian Rounds, AESL Consulting.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioner: Kristie Fiegen; Patrick Glover, Meierhenry Sargent LLP, representing Randall Community Water District; Brian Murphy, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, representing Crowned Ridge Wind II, LLC; Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC, representing Crowned Ridge Wind II, LLC and Basin Electric Power Cooperative; Lisa Agrimonti, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Deuel Harvest Wind Energy LLC; Kristian Dahl, Otter Tail Power Co.; Tamie Aberle and Bruce Brekke, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; Bob Sahr, East River Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.; Scott Pick, Randall Community Water District; and Eric Munz, Public Liaison Officer, Dakota Access Pipeline.

Administration

1.     Approval of the minutes of the Commission meeting held on January 18, 2019. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on January 18, 2019. 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 74 contacts since the last report was prepared for the January 18, 2019, Commission meeting.

Seven contacts involved telecommunication services, 26 contacts were related to electrical services, two contacts were related to natural gas service, seven contacts were related to wireless service, seven contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, 18 contacts were related to the Grain Warehouse Division and seven contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. 

Contacts received in 2019: 143 of the 159 have been resolved.

The DAPL liaison report was filed prior to the meeting. No complaints or inquiries were received regarding DAPL or the report.

Electric

1.     EL18-019     In the Matter of the Application of Crowned Ridge Wind II, LLC for a Facility Permit to Construct a 230-kV Transmission Line and Associated Facilities in Codington County (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss) 

Mr. Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC, representing Crowned Ridge Wind II, LLC (Crowned Ridge II), asked that the Commission grant the Joint Motion for Approval of the Settlement Stipulation. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant Crowned Ridge II’s request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the Joint Motion for Approval of the Settlement Stipulation and pursuant to 49-41B-24 grant a permit to construct the 230-kV transmission line and its associated facilities. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL18-029     In the Matter of the Application ofBlack Hills Power Inc., dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of Its Tax Cut and Jobs Act Proposal (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Jason Keil, Black Hills Power Inc., dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), asked that the Commission approve a second one-time February 2019 bill credit to true-up its 2018 TCJA customer benefits. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve BHE’s request.
     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve Black Hills Energy’s proposal for a second one-time February 2019 bill credit to true-up its 2018 TCJA customer benefits. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL18-045     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)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL18-045. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, February 1, 2019, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc02012019.mp3.

4.     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. Lisa Agrimonti, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Deuel Harvest Wind Energy LLC (Deuel Harvest), stated Deuel Harvest supported the procedural schedule and did not object to the interventions filed. Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve the interventions. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission adopt the procedural schedule.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant intervention to those who have filed and adopt the procedural schedule as provided by staff. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     EL18-057     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and Cam-Wal Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Darren Kearney, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the electric service territory boundary agreement between Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU) and Cam-Wal Electric Cooperative, Inc. Mr. Bruce Brekke, MDU, agreed to the request.

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

6.     EL18-061     In the Matter of Randall Community Water District’s Petition for a Declaratory Ruling Determining if South Dakota Law Would Allow Petitioner to Develop and Own Its Own Renewable Energy Generation System (Staff Analysts: Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL18-061. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, February 1, 2019, recording located at: http://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc02012019.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to issue a Declaratory Ruling that the Development Entity is not an electric utility providing retail electric service to the public pursuant to SDCL 49-34A-42. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 11:45 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Specialist
PUC Email
February 1, 2019