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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
February 18, 2020, at 1:30 P.M. CST
Matthew Training Center, Foss 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, Brittany Mehlhaff, Joseph Rezac, Jon Thurber, Patrick Steffensen, Lorena Reichert, and Eric Paulson; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Present was: Mollie Smith, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Dakota Range III, LLC

Joining the meeting by telephone were: Lynn Wolters, Otter Tail Power Company; Richard Lampeter, Epsilon Associates, Inc.; Travis Jacobson, Tara Schoenwald, and Nathan Bensen, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co; Amanda Hosch, Diane Votino, Kady Billam, and Alex Karpuk; MidAmerican Energy Company; Christina White, ENGIE; Steve Kolbeck, Xcel Engergy; Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC, representing Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC.; Amber Christenson, self; and Kristi Mogen, self.

Consumer Reports

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

TThe Commission received a total of 50 contacts since the last report was prepared for the February 3, 2020 Commission meeting.

Six contacts were related to telecommunication services, 18 contacts were related to electrical services, three contact were related to natural gas services, five contacts were related to wireless service, five contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, and 13 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

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

Contacts received in 2020: 138 of the 151 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL18-046    In the Matter of the Application of Dakota Range III, LLC for a Permit of a Wind Energy Facility and a 345-kV Transmission Line in Grant and Roberts Counties (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Ms. Mollie Smith, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., representing Dakota Range III, LLC, asked that the Commission grant Dakota Range III’s request for a material change and allow the change of turbine model. Mr. Jon Thurber, staff analyst, stated staff had no objection to the request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to grant Dakota Range III’s Request for a material change and allow the change of turbine model. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     EL19-002    In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy for Approval of a Credit Mechanism for Payments from the Second Extended Department of Energy Settlement (Staff Analysts: Patrick Steffensen, Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Mr. Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel), asked that the Commission approve Xcel’s waiver request for an additional 90 days to complete the 10th DOE refund. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve Xcel’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve Northern States Power's waiver request for an additional 90 days to complete the 10th DOE refund. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     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)

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, 2020, February 18, 2020, recording located at: https://puc.sd.gov/commission/media/2020/puc02182020.mp3.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the post construction noise compliance test protocol and require the Public Liaison Officer to assist with contacting non-participating landowners for permission to test noise levels on their property. Motion carried 3-0.

4.     EL19-039    In the Matter of the Petition of Otter Tail Power Company for Approval of the Transmission Cost Recovery Rider Rate (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Lynn Wolters, Otter Tail Power Company (OTP), asked the Commission to approve OTP’s TCR rate factors and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of March 1, 2020. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve OTP’s request.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve Otter Tail Power Company’s TCR rate factors and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of March 1, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

5.     EL19-043    In the Matter of the Joint Request for Approval of an Amended Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy and Sioux Valley Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Steve Kolbeck, Northern States Power Company dba Xcel Energy (Xcel) asked that the Commission approve the Amended Service Territory Boundary Line Agreement between Xcel and Sioux Valley Southwestern Electric Cooperative, Inc. dba Sioux Valley Energy. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve the request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the Amended Service Territory Boundary Line Agreement between Xcel Energy and Sioux Valley Energy. Motion carried 3-0.

6.     EL20-001    In the Matter of the Joint Request for Approval of an Amended Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Black Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

Commissioner Hanson deferred the docket to a later Commission meeting.

7.     EL20-004    In the Matter of the Filing by MidAmerican Energy Company for Approval of Tariff Revisions regarding Expansion of Electric Distribution System (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Diane Votino, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), asked that the Commission approve the proposed tariff revisions on less than 30 days’ notice with an effective date of February 21, 2020. Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s request.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the proposed tariff revisions on less than 30 days’ notice with an effective date of February 21, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG20-001    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. Nathen Bensen, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU), asked that the Commission grant MDU’s request for approval of the revised Conservation Tracking Adjustment of $0.008 per dk and the associated Conservation Program Tracking Mechanism Rate 90 tariff sheet, with an effective date of March 1, 2020. Ms. Lorena Reichert, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MDU’s request.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.’s request for approval of the revised Conservation Tracking Adjustment of $0.008 per dk and the associated Conservation Program Tracking Mechanism Rate 90 tariff sheet, with an effective date of March 1, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

There being no further business, at the hour of 2:37 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Joy Lashley     .
Joy Lashley
Administrative Specialist
PUC Email
February 18, 2020