Consumer Assistance | Energy | Telecom | Warehouse | Commission Actions | Miscellaneous
arrow Commission Agendas | previous page

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

Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Commissioner Chris Nelson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac and Lorena Reichert; Grain Warehouse Manager: Cody Chambliss; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Present were:
Matt Olsen, Tyler Akerman, Cary Stephenson and Pete Beithon, Otter Tail Power Co.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioners: Gary Hanson and Kristie Fiegen; Lisa Agrimonti, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Dakota Range III, LLC; Kavita Maini, KM Energy Consulting, LLC, representing PUC staff; Dave Peterson and Basil Copeland, Chesapeake Regulatory Consultants Inc, representing PUC staff; Chris Larson, Clay-Union Electric Corporation; Shane Griese, City of Vermillion; Jason Keil and Todd Brink, Black Hills Power Inc., dba Black Hills Energy; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, representing Walmart, Inc.; Svetlana Fedje, Otter Tail Power Co.; Amanda Hosch, MidAmerican Energy Company; Jeremy Fischer and Travis Jacobson, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; Bart Banks, Dakota Mill and Grain; and Konrad Crockford, ND Public Service Commission.

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 46 contacts since the last report was prepared for the February 15, 2019 Commission meeting.

Six contacts involved telecommunication services, 11 contacts were related to electrical services, three contacts were related to natural gas service, one contact was related to gas and electric service, three contacts were related to wireless service, eight contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to Wind Energy, five contacts were related to the Grain Warehouse Division and eight contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. 

Contacts received in 2019: 267 of the 278 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL18-021     In the Matter of the Application of Otter Tail Power Company for Authority to Increase Its Electric Rates (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson, Joseph Rezac, Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket EL18-021. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, March 1, 2019, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc03012019.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation and approve the terms and conditions stipulated therein. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL18-051     In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Boundary Change between Clay Union Electric Corporation and City of Vermillion (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Chris Larson, Clay Union Electric Corporation and Mr. Shane Griese, City of Vermillion, requested that the Commission approve the service territory boundary change. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the service territory boundary change.Motion carried 3-0.

3.     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 did not object to the party status withdrawals. Ms. Amanda Reis, staff attorney, stated staff had no objections to the request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant withdrawal of party status to those who have filed to withdraw their party status. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL18-060     In the Matter of the Filing by Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of a Renewable Ready Service Tariff and Tariff Revisions to Its Energy Cost Adjustment (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, representing Walmart, Inc. (Walmart), asked that the Commission grant approval to Walmart’s request for intervention. Mr. Todd Brink, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (BHE), had no objection to the request. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, stated staff did not object to the request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant intervention to Walmart, Inc.Motion carried 3-0.

5.     EL19-005     In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions to its Rates for Small Power Production and Cogeneration (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Svetlana Fedje, Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail), asked that the Commission approve Otter Tail’s tariff revisions with an effective date of April 1, 2019. Mr. Eric Paulson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Otter Tail’s request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the proposed revisions to Otter Tail Power Company’s rates for Small Power Production and Cogeneration for Qualifying Facilities. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     EL19-008     In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions to Its 2018 Transmission Cost Recovery Reconciliation and 2019 Transmission Cost Recovery Factors (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess MidAmerican 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. Ms. Amanda Hosch, MidAmerican, stated MidAmerican does not object to the filing fee.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to 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. Motion carried 3-0.

Grain

1.     GW19-001     In the Matter of Green Leaf Commodities, LLC’s Failure to Timely Respond Pursuant to SDCL 49-45-26 (Grain Warehouse Manager: Cody Chambliss; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place regarding docket GW19-001. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, March 1, 2019, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc03012019.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to issue an Order to Show Cause.Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG19-002     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of its Revised Conservation Tracking Adjustment (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Travis Jacobson, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), asked that the Commission approve MDU’s revised Conservation Tracking Adjustment of $0.022 per dk and the associated Conservation Program Tracking Mechanism Rate 90 tariff sheet, with an effective date of March 1, 2019, on less than 30 days’ notice. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MDU’s request.
     
     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.’s request for approval of the revised Conservation Tracking Adjustment of $0.022 per dk and the associated Conservation Program Tracking Mechanism Rate 90 tariff sheet, with an effective date of March 1, 2019, on less than 30 days’ notice. Motion carried 3-0.

     There being no further business, at the hour of 10:27 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

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