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

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Commissioner Gary Hanson called the meeting to order. Commissioners: Chris Nelson and Kristie Fiegen; Commission Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Adam de Hueck; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson and Lorena Reichert; Warehouse Division Manager: Cody Chambliss; and Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Present were: William Taylor, Taylor Law Firm, P.C., representing Fall River Solar, LLC; Todd Brink, Black Hills Power Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Bob Mercer, KELO News; and Brian Rounds, AESL Consulting.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Ross Loomans, Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative; Pat Mastel, Midcontinent Communications; Michele Nielson, Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative Inc. dba Sioux Valley Energy; and Pam Connally, High Country Mercantile, Inc.

Administration

1.     Approval of Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on September 17, 2019. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on September 17, 2019. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 60 contacts since the last report was prepared for the September 17, 2019 Commission meeting.

Nine contacts were related to telecommunication services, 17 contacts were related to electrical services, three contacts were related to natural gas services, two contacts were related to gas and electric service, five contacts were related to wireless service, six contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, six contacts were related to the Grain Warehouse Division, one contact was referred to One Call and 11 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. 

Contacts received in 2019: 954 of the 972 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL19-028     In the Matter of the Petition of Black Hills Power Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Approval of Deferred Accounting Treatment for SD Sun Project Transaction and Development Costs (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

A lengthy discussion took place for docket EL19-028. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, October 1, 2019, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc10012019.mp3 .

     Commissioner Hanson moved to deny intervention to Fall River Solar, LLC. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL19-033     In the Matter of the Joint Request for Service Rights Exception between Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Michele Nielson, Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative Inc. dba Sioux Valley Energy (Sioux Valley) and Mr. Ross Loomans, Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative Inc. (LREC), asked that the Commission approve the requested service rights exception between Sioux Valley Energy and LREC. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the requested service rights exception between Sioux Valley Energy and Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative. Motion carried 3-0.

Grain Warehouse

1.     GW19-002     In the Matter of the PUC Staff’s Complaint Against High Country Mercantile, Inc. (Grain Warehouse Manager: Cody Chambliss; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place for docket GW19-002. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, October 1, 2019, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc10012019.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to find High Country Mercantile, Inc. to be in violation of SDCL 49-45-1 and grant the Joint Motion and that High Country Mercantile, Inc. pay a $15,000 fine within thirty days of the date on the Order. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC19-047     In the Matter of the Filing by Midcontinent Communications for Approval of Revisions to Its Local Exchange Service Tariff (Staff Analyst: Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Pat Mastel, Midcontinent Communications (Midco), asked that the Commission approve Midco’s request to withdraw the filing. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve Midco’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve Midco’s request to withdraw the filing. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:57 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

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