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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 3, 2020, at 1:30 P.M. CST
Room 413, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

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

Present were: David Gil, Mark Thompson, Perry Oberg and Tyler Wilhelm, Crowned Ridge Wind II, LLC; Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC, representing Crowned Ridge Wind II, LLC; Brian Murphy, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC; Hilary Morey, SD Game, Fish and Parks; Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren, Van Camp & Thompson, P.C., representing the City of North Sioux City; Darla Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier & Northrup, LLP, representing SDN and Express; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications; and Brett Koenecke, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP, representing MidAmerican Energy Company.

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Diane Votino, Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, Sam Wagner and Alex Karpuk, MidAmerican Energy Company; Jeremy Duff, Taylor Law Firm, P.C., representing Lookout Solar Park I, LLC; Shani Harmon, Lookout Solar Park I, LLC; Paul Nabholz, Fall River County Commissioner; Kristi Mogen, self; Jim Cremer, Bantz, Gosch & Cremer LLC, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC; James Groft, Northern Valley Communications, LLC; Talbot Wieczorek, Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson & Ashmore, LLP, representing Sprint Communications Company L.P.; Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy; Mollie Smith, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Dakota Range I, LLC and Dakota Range II, LLC.

(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)

Administration

1.     Minutes of the Commission meetings held on January 7 and January 21, 2020. (Staff: Joy Lashley)

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meetings held on January 7 and January 21, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 54 contacts since the last report was prepared for the January 21, 2020 Commission meeting.

Ten contacts were related to telecommunication services, 22 contacts were related to electrical services, one contact was related to natural gas services, two contacts were related to wireless service, seven contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related in Wind Energy and seven contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC. The Grain Warehouse program had 4 contacts.

Contacts received in 2019: 1,260 of the 1,261 have been resolved.

Contacts received in 2020: 90 of the 101 have been resolved

Telecommunications

1.     TC19-052    In the Matter of the Filing by Northern Valley Communications, LLC for Approval of Revisions to Its Access Service Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

     Mr. Jim Cremer, Bantz, Gosch & Cremer LLC, representing Northern Valley Communications, LLC (Northern Valley), stated Northern Valley did not object to the intervention filed by Sprint Communications Company L.P and AT&T Corp. All parties agreed that the question of suspending the tariff should be deferred as detailed in the parties’ Joint Statement. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant intervention and defer the suspension questions.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant intervention to Sprint Communications Company L.P and AT&T Corp. Motion carried 3-0.

Complaint

1.    CE19-001    In the Matter of the Complaint filed by the City of North Sioux City and North Sioux City Economic Development Corporation, North Sioux City, South Dakota, against MidAmerican Energy Company Regarding Commercial Development in the Flynn Business Park (Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren, Van Camp & Thompson, P.C., representing North Sioux City, asked the Commission to adopt the settlement stipulation and approve the withdrawal of the complaint. Ms. Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), stated MidAmerican was not opposed to the Commission approving the settlement stipulation and the withdrawal of the complaint. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

      Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the joint motion for approval of settlement stipulation and adopt the settlement stipulation without modification. Motion carried 3-0.

Electric

1.     EL18-003    In the Matter of the Application by Dakota Range I, LLC and Dakota Range II, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility in Grant County and Codington County, South Dakota, for the Dakota Range Wind Project (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Darren Kearney; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

Commissioner Hanson deferred the docket to allow Xcel Energy to file documents showing its ownership of the wind facility.

2.     EL18-059    In the Matter of Lookout Solar Park I, LLC for a Permit of a Solar Energy Facility in Oglala Lakota County (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Darren Kearney; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

A lengthy discussion took place for docket EL18-059. An audio of the discussion can be found on the PUC website under Commission Actions, Commission Meeting Archives, 2020, February 3, 2020, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2020/puc02032020.mp3.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the Joint Motion for Approval of the Revised Settlement Stipulation and the Revised Settlement Stipulation.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to amend the main motion with an additional requirement that prior to the start of commercial operation, Applicant shall file the Solar Energy Ground Lease and Grant of Easements executed between Lynn Dee Rapp, Frank D. Rapp, Julia Rapp Trevillyan, Deborah Rapp Wammen (Lessor) and Lookout Solar Park I, LLC (Lessee), dated December 5, 2018, including written final approval by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. Motion carried 3-0.

     Original motion, as amended, carried 3-0.

3.     EL20-002    In the Matter of Commission Staff’s Request for an Order to Show Cause regarding Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Eric Paulson; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

     Commissioner Hanson deferred the docket.

There being no further business, at the hour of 2:30 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Specialist
PUC Email
February 3, 2020