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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
April 14, 2020, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Telephonic – This was the third meeting the commission held telephonically due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Gary Hanson called the telephonic meeting to order.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Commissioners: Chris Nelson and Kristie Fiegen; Commission Attorneys: Adam de Hueck and Karen Cremer; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Kristen Edwards and Amanda Reiss; Staff Analysts: Joseph Rezac, Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber, Patrick Steffensen, Brittany Mehlhaff, and Eric Paulson; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz and Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC; Cathy Sabers, Black Hills Power, Inc. dba Black Hills Energy; Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, Diane Votino and Amanda Hosch, MidAmerican Energy Company; Travis Jacobson and Stephanie Bosch, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co; Amber Christenson, self; Bill Taylor, Fall River Solar LLC; Brian Murphy, NextEra Energy Resources, LLC representing Crowned Ridge Wind LLC and Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC., representing Crowned Ridge Wind LLC.


Administration
1.     Approval of Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on March 6, 2020, and the Ad Hoc Commission Meeting Held on February 27, 2020 (Staff: Macy Jo Murren)

         Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meetings held on February 27, and March 6, 2020.  Motion carried 3-0.

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

         The Commission received a total of 39 contacts since the last report was prepared for the March 31, 2020 Commission meeting.

         Five contacts were related to telecommunication services, 14 contacts were related to electrical services, one contact was related to natural gas service, three contacts were related to wireless service, three contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to Wind Energy,  and 11 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.  One contact was referred to One Call. 

         309 of the 320 contacts received in 2020 have been resolved.

 

Telecommunications
1.         TC20-003        In the Matter of CenturyLink QC's Petition for Approval of Amendments to the Qwest Performance Assurance Plan and Performance Indicator Definitions to Implement the FCC'S 2019 Forbearance Orders (Staff Analyst: Joseph Rezac; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

        Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC (CenturyLink), asked that the Commission approve the amendments to the Qwest Performance Assurance Plan and Performance Indicator Definitions and deem all existing interconnection agreements that currently contain the Performance Assurance Plan and the Performance Indicator Definitions be modified to incorporate these revisions, effective May 1, 2020, without further filings and approvals..  Mr. Joseph Rezac, staff analyst, recommended the Commission grant CenturyLink’s request for approval.

         Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the approval of amendments to the Qwest Performance Assurance Plan and performance indicator definitions to implement the FCC's 2019 forbearance orders effective May 1, 2020, and deem all existing interconnection agreements that currently contain the Performance Assurance Plan and the Performance Indicator Definitions be modified to incorporate these revision, effective May 1, 2020, without further filings and approvals.  Motion carried 3-0.


Administration
1.      AA20-002       Establishment of the Gross Receipts Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2021 (Finance Manager: Cindy Kemnitz; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

         Ms. Cindy Kemnitz, PUC Finance Manager, requested that the Commission establish a Gross Receipts Tax Levy of .0015 or $250 whichever is greater for Fiscal Year 2021.

         Commissioner Fiegen moved to grant the Establishment of the Gross Receipts Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2021.  Motion carried 3-0.


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)

         Ms. Cathy Sabers, Black Hills Power Inc., dba Black Hills Energy asked that the Motion to Compel be withdrawn and the Commission take no action on the docket.  Mr. Bill Taylor, Taylor Law Firm, LLC representing Energy of Utah, LLC and Fall River Solar, LLC, and Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, had no objection to the withdrawal. 

         The Motion to Compel was withdrawn and the Commission took no action on the docket.


2.      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)


         Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, asked that the Commission grant the Joint Motion for Approval of Settlement Stipulation, and pursuant to the Settlement Stipulation, Crowned Ridge Wind, LLC (Crowned Ridge) will pay an initial sum of $170,000 into the permanent school fund within fourteen business days of the order. Mr. Miles Schumacher, Lynn, Jackson, Shultz and Lebrun, PC., representing Crowned Ridge, recommended that the Commission grant the request.


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

3.      EL20-010           In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., a Subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc., for Approval of the Annual Update to Its Transmission Cost Recovery Rider Rate (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)


         Ms. Stephanie Bosch, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., a Subsidiary of MDU Resources Group Inc. (MDU), requested that the Commission approve the annual update to its Transmission Cost Recovery Rider Rate.  Ms. Brittany Mehlhaff, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve MDU’s request.


         Commissioner Nelson moved to approve MDU’s revised Transmission Cost Recovery Rider Rate and revised tariff sheet with an effective date of May 1, 2020.  Motion carried 3-0.

Gas and Electric

1.      GE17-003       In the Matter of Staff’s Request to Investigate the Effects of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on South Dakota Utilities (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards, Amanda Reiss)

         Ms. Kaitlyn Lynn-Butcher, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), requested that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s TERM reconciliations and revised tariff pages effective May 1, 2020. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended the Commission approve MidAmerican’s request.


         Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve MidAmerican’s TERM reconciliations and revised tariff pages effective May 1, 2020.  Motion carried 3-0.

         There being no further business, at the hour of 10:12 a.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/s/Macy Jo Murren_____
Macy Jo Murren
Administrative Specialist
puc@state.sd.us
April 14, 2020