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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 26, 2020, at 1:30 P.M. CDT
Telephonic – This was the sixth 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: Patrick Steffensen, Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber and Brittany Mehlhaff; Consumer Affairs Manager: Deb Gregg; Staff: Kaitlyn Baucom.

Jason Topp, CenturyLink QC; Tim Engel, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP representing South Dakota Science & Technology Authority; Melissa Schmit, Geronimo Energy, LLC; Mollie Smith, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. representing Wild Springs Solar, LLC; Amanda Hosch, Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, Kollin Derynck and Steve Stratton, MidAmerican Energy Company

Administration

1.   Approval of Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on May 12, 2020 (Staff: Macy Jo Murren)

            Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the minutes of the Commission meeting held on May 12, 2020. Motion carried 3-0.

Consumer Reports

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

         The Commission received a total of 39 contacts since the last report was prepared for the May 12, 2020, Commission meeting.

         Eight contacts were related to telecommunication services, 10 contacts were related to electrical services, five contacts were related to natural gas service, one contact was related to wireless service,  three contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry, one contact was related to wind energy, one contact was related to the Grain Warehouse program and eight contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC and two contacts were referred to SD One Call.

         434 of the 443 contacts received in 2020 have been resolved.

Telecommunications

1.         TC20-006        In the Matter of the Approval of an Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs) – Resale Forbearance Amendment to the Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and AT&T Corporation for the State of South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Lorena Reichert; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

         Mr . Jason Topp, CenturyLink QC, asked that the Commission approve the unbundled network elements (UNES) – resale forbearance amendment to the interconnection agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and AT&T Corporation for the state of South Dakota.  Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve CenturyLink’s request. 

         Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the amendment to the interconnection agreement.  Motion carried 3-0.

 

Electric

1.           EL20-017        In the Matter of the Petition for a Declaratory Ruling regarding the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority (Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)
Mr. Tim Engel, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson LLP representing the South

            Dakota Science & Technology Authority, asked that the Commission dismiss without prejudice the Petition for a Declaratory Ruling regarding the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. Ms. Kristen Edwards, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission grant the request.

            Commissioner Hanson moved to grant the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority’s Motion to Dismiss without Prejudice. 
Motion carried 3-0.

2.           EL20-018        In the Matter of the Application by Wild Springs Solar, LLC for a Permit of a Solar Energy Facility in Pennington County, South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Darren Kearney, Jon Thurber; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

            Ms. Amanda Reiss, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission assess a filing fee not to exceed $295,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000 and the Commission authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts.  Ms. Mollie Smith, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. representing Wild Springs Solar, LLC, had no objection to staff’s recommendation.

            Commissioner Nelson moved to assess a filing fee not to exceed $295,000 with an initial deposit of $8,000 and the Commission authorize the executive director to enter into necessary consulting contracts.  Motion carried 3-0.

3.         EL20-005        In the Matter of the Filing of MidAmerican Energy Company for Determination of its Energy Cost Adjustment Factor as Applied to Repowered Wind Facilities (Staff Analyst: Patrick Steffensen; Staff Attorney: Amanda Reiss)

            Ms. Katelyn Lynch-Butcher, MidAmerican Energy Company (MidAmerican), asked that the Commission approve MidAmerican’s request for a determination that its new production tax credits (PTCs) resulting from the repowering of up to 510 existing wind turbines are not subject to the provisions of MidAmerican’s energy cost adjustment (ECA) tariff. Mr. Patrick Steffensen, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval of MidAmerican’s request for a determination that the new PTCs resulting from the repowering of up to 510 existing wind turbines are not subject to the provisions of MidAmerican’s ECA tariff, subject to the condition that such approval shall not preclude Commission review of the project, including project and cost management and accounting data and methods, for prudence and reasonableness for rate recovery in any determination of rates, (including both rate filings by MidAmerican and rate reviews initiated by the Commission) and that it does not guarantee any such rate recovery.

            Commissioner Hanson moved to determine the new production tax credits resulting from the repowering of up to 510 existing wind turbines are not subject to the provisions of MidAmerican Energy Company’s energy cost adjustment tariff subject to the conditions as outlined by Commission staffMotion Carried 3-0. 

            There being no further business, at the hour of 1:49 p.m., the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.    


/s/Macy Jo Murren_______
Macy Jo Murren
Administrative Specialist
puc@state.sd.us
May 26, 2020