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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
October 15, 2019, at 1:30 P.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, Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Patrick Steffensen, Joseph Rezac, Eric Paulson and Lorena Reichert; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Present were: Bob Mercer, KELO News; William Taylor, Taylor Law Firm, LLC, representing Energy of Utah, LLC and Fall River Solar, LLC; Tom Kirschenmann, South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks; and Cathy Sabers, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing Tatanka Ridge Wind, LLC; Jesse Bermel and Mandy Bohnenblust, Tatanka Ridge Wind, LLC; Amber Christenson, self; Kristi Mogen, self; Brian Murphy and Kim Wells, Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC; Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz & Lebrun, P.C., representing Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC; John Chow, Mary Morrison, Lisa Peterson and Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; and Carey Roesel, Inteserra Consulting Group, representing Fusion Cloud Services, LLC.

Administration

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

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on October 1, 2019. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 42 contacts since the last report was prepared for the October 1, 2019 Commission meeting.

Seven contacts were related to telecommunication services, 12 contacts were related to electrical services, six contacts were related to natural gas services, two contacts were related to wireless service, five contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to One Call, one contact was related to Wind Energy and eight contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

Contacts received in 2019: 997 of the 1014 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL18-038     In the Matter of the Complaint of Energy of Utah, LLC and Fall River Solar, LLC Against Black Hills Power Inc. dba Black Hills Energy for Determination of Avoided Cost (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Darren Kearney, Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

     A lengthy discussion took place for docket EL18-038. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, October 15, 2019, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc10152019.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant BHE’s Motion to Quash and Protect for topics 5(a), 5(b), 6, 7, and 8. Motion carried 3-0.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to deny BHE’s motion with respect to topics 2, 5(c), and 5(e). Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL19-003     In the Matter of the Application by Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility in Grant and Codington Counties (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss, Mikal Hanson)

A lengthy discussion took place for docket EL19-003. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, October 15, 2019, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc10152019.mp3.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant Applicant’s request for a 60-day extension to develop the mitigation plan required in Condition 45 of the Final Order. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL19-026     In the Matter of the Application by Tatanka Ridge Wind, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility in Deuel County, South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place for docket EL19-026. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2019, October 15, 2019, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2019/puc10152019.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation with the exception of proposed conditions 26 and 36 and the issue of a condition related to the protection of whooping cranes is reserved for future consideration. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL19-031     In the Matter of the Filing by Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Tariff Revisions to Its Rates for Small Power Production and Cogeneration (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked that the Commission approve Xcel’s tariff revisions, effective January 1, 2020, and agreed to correct an error identified in the capacity payment calculation. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel’s request, with the condition that Xcel file revised tariffs reflecting a capacity payment for firm power per on peak kwh for Rate Code E52 of $0.0062 per kwh.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve Xcel Energy’s tariff revisions, effective January 1, 2020, including the revision to the Rate Code E52 capacity payment as discussed.Motion carried 3-0.

5.     EL19-035     In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2020 Infrastructure Rider Project Eligibility and Factor Update (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), 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. Mr. Steve Kolbeck, Xcel, stated Xcel doesn’t object to the request.

     Commissioner Nelson 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.Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC19-045     In the Matter of the Filing by Fusion Cloud Services, LLC for Approval of Its Access Service Tariff (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Carey Roesel, Inteserra Consulting Group, representing Fusion Cloud Services, LLC fka Birch Communications, LLC (Fusion Cloud), asked that the Commission approve its Switched Access Services Tariff No. 1 effective October 15, 2019. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Fusion Cloud’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve Fusion Cloud Services, LLC’s Switched Access Services Tariff No. 1 effective October 15, 2019. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 4:00 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Specialist
PUC Email
October 15, 2019