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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
March 8, 2011, at 1:30 P.M. CST
Room 414, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

NOTE:  If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605-773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. CST on Monday, March 7, 2011. Lines are limited and are given out on a first come, first served basis, subject to possible reassignment to accommodate persons who must appear in a proceeding. Ultimately, if you wish to participate in the Commission Meeting and a line is not available, you may have to appear in person. 

NOTE:  To listen to the Commission Meeting live please go to the PUC's Web site www.puc.sd.gov and click on the LIVE link on the home page. The Commission requests persons who will only be listening to proceedings and not actively appearing in a case listen via the web cast to free phone lines for those who have to appear.  The Commission meetings are archived on the PUC's Web site under the Commission Actions tab, Click on "Commission Meeting Archives," to access the recordings.

NOTE:  Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.

AGENDA OF COMMISSION MEETING

Consumer Reports

1.     Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)

Electric

1.     EL10-011     In the Matter of the Application by Otter Tail Power Company for Authority to Increase Rates for Electric Service in South Dakota (Staff Analysts: Jon Thurber, Bob Knadle, Dave Jacobson, Brittany Mehlhaff; Staff Attorneys: Kara Semmler, Ryan Soye) 

On August 20, 2010, the Commission received an application by Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail) for approval to increase rates for electric service in its South Dakota service territory. Otter Tail states that it proposes to increase rates by $2,755,954 annually or 9.96% based on Otter Tail's 2009 test year. Otter Tail states a typical customer will see an increase of $9.68 per month under the rate design proposed by the Company. The proposed rate may potentially affect approximately 11,700 customers in Otter Tail's service territory. On February 24, 2011, Commission staff and Otter Tail filed a Joint Motion for Approval of the Settlement Stipulation.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the Joint Motion for Approval of the Settlement Stipulation? OR how shall the Commission proceed?

2.     EL08-031     In the Matter of the Application by Buffalo Ridge II LLC, a Subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, Inc. for an Energy Conversion Facility Permit for the Construction of the Buffalo Ridge II Wind Farm and Associated Collection Substation and Electric Interconnection System (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds; Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

On October 31, 2008, Buffalo Ridge II LLC, a subsidiary of Iberdrola Renewables, Inc., submitted an application for an Energy Conversion Facility Permit for the Construction of the Buffalo Ridge II Wind Farm and Associated Collection Substation and Electric Interconnection System. The applicant proposes to construct and operate a wind farm on up to 77 acres dispersed throughout portions of up to 77 sections of land in Brookings and Deuel counties as well as a 13-mile long 115 kilovolt overhead transmission line. The proposed wind farm could have a name plate capacity of up to 306 megawatts. On February 25, 2011, the Commission received a request from Buffalo Ridge II LLC, that Condition 22 for docket EL08-031 be amended to allow them to file the facility emergency response plan confidentially.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the request of Buffalo Ridge II to amend Condition 22 of its permit to allow the emergency response plan to be filed as a confidential filing? 

3.     EL11-001     In the Matter of the Petition of Black Hills Power, Inc. to Establish an Environmental Measures Cost Recovery Tariff (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle, Jon Thurber, Brittany Mehlhaff, Chris Daugaard; Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye) 

On January 25, 2011, the Commission received a petition from Black Hills Power, Inc. (BHP) requesting the Commission approve its new tariff establishing an Environmental Improvement Adjustment (EIA) pursuant to legislation enacted during the 2007 Legislative Session. SDCL Chapter 49-34A, Sections 97 through 100, authorize the Commission to approve a tariff mechanism for the automatic annual adjustment of charges for a public utility to recover the South Dakota jurisdictional portion of eligible investments in and expenses related to new environmental measures. The statute defines eligible new environmental measures as any environmental improvements required under the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, or any other federal law or rule, or any state law or rule implementing a federal law or rule, or voluntary environmental measures designed to protect the environment.

     TODAY, shall the Commission assess a filing fee in the amount of $50,000 to account for actual expenses incurred in review of this filing commencing from the filing date?

Grain

1.     GW11-001     In the Matter of the Settlement Stipulation between South Dakota Wheat Growers and PUC Staff (Staff Analyst: Jim Mehlhaff; Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

On February 23, 2011, a PUC Warehouse examiner discovered that the South Dakota Wheat Growers (SDWG) facility in Andover, South Dakota was operating without first obtaining the required grain buyer bond and grain buyer license. Upon further investigation it was learned that the facility has been in operation since October 14, 2010, in violation of SDCL 49-45-1 and SDCL 49-45-9. Staff has been in contact with the management of SDWG and the parties have reached a settlement stipulation.  

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the settlement stipulation? 

Hydrocarbon Pipeline

1.     HP09-001     In the Matter of the Application by TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP for a Permit under the South Dakota Energy Conversion and Transmission Facility Act to Construct the Keystone XL Project (Staff Analysts: Bob Knadle, Nathan Solem; Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

On March 12, 2009, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP, (Keystone) filed a siting permit application for the South Dakota portion of the proposed Keystone XL Project (Project). The Project will transport crude oil starting in Hardisty, Alberta, Canada and ending in Port Arthur and East Houston areas of Texas.  The proposed 36-inch diameter pipeline will have a nominal capacity of 900,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd).  The proposed route will enter South Dakota at the Montana/South Dakota border in Harding County. It will extend in a southeasterly direction through portions of Harding, Butte, Perkins, Meade, Pennington, Haakon, Jones, Lyman, and Tripp counties. It will exit the state at the South Dakota/Nebraska border in Tripp County. The length of pipeline through South Dakota is approximately 313 miles.  The Project also includes seven pump stations in South Dakota located in Harding (2), Meade, Haakon, Jones, and Tripp (2) counties along with 16 mainline valves.  Mainline valves are proposed at each pump station and along the right-of-way with spacing intervals based upon the location of the pump stations, water bodies greater than 100 feet in width, high consequence areas and other considerations. 

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the independent noise consultant? 

Telecommunications

1.     TC10-096     In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC, Against MCI Communications Services, Inc. d/b/a Verizon Business Services for Unpaid Access Charges (Staff Analyst: Bobbi Bourk, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler) 

On October 27, 2010, the Commission received a complaint from Midcontinent Communications, Knology of the Plains, Inc., and Knology of the Black Hills, LLC (Complainants) against MCI Communications Services, Inc. dba Verizon Business Services (Verizon) for unpaid access charges. The Complainants allege that Verizon has failed to pay invoices pursuant to state tariffs for the provision of intrastate switched access services. On November 18, 2010, the Commission received an Answer to Complaint, Request for Stay to Permit Settlement Negotiations, Or, in the Alternative, Request for Hearing on Threshold Factual Issues Related to Jurisdiction from Verizon. On December 21, 2010, Complainants filed a Request for Interim Relief. On December 27, 2010, Complainants filed a Request for Procedural Schedule. At its regularly scheduled Commission meeting held on January 4, 2011, it was Ordered that the Complainants' request for interim relief was denied, and that the Complainants' alternative request to cease providing intrastate switched access services to Verizon was also denied. It was also ordered that the Commission Counsel work with the parties to determine a procedural schedule. On January 14, 2011, the Commission received a Petition to Intervene by the following parties: South Dakota Network, LLC, (SDN), South Dakota Telecommunications Association (SDTA), and Local Exchange Carriers Association (LECA). The Commission granted Intervention to all parties. On February 3, 2011, Midcontinent filed a Motion to Amend Complaint. On February 9, 2011, Verizon filed an Opposition to Midcontinent's Motion to Amend Complaint. On February 18, 2011, Verizon Business Services requested the Commission stay the current proceeding due to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking recently released by the FCC.   

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Verizon's request to stay the proceedings? OR how shall the Commission proceed?   

Items for Commission Discussion 

Announcements 

1.     Commissioners and staff will attend the Sioux Empire Home Show, March 4-6, 2011, at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, Sioux Falls, S.D.

2.     A hearing in docket NG11-001 will be held Tuesday, March 8, 2011, beginning at the later of 3:00 p.m. CST or immediately following the conclusion of the Commission's regular meeting, in Room 414 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

3.     Commissioners will attend the Center for Public Utilities Current Issues Conference, March 13-16, 2011, in Santa Fe, N.M.

4.     Commissioners and staff will attend the South Dakota/North Dakota Pipeline Safety Operator Training, March 15-17, 2011, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Sioux Falls, S.D.

5.     The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held Tuesday, March 22, 2011, at 9:30 a.m., CDT, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

6.     Commissioners and staff will attend the Black Hills Home Builders Association Home Show, March 25-27, 2011, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, Rapid City, S.D.

7.     Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of the Organization of MISO States for MISO's Users Guide Training, March 29-30, 2011, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. CDT each day in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

8.     Commission meetings are scheduled for April 5 and 19, 2011.

9.     Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of the Midwest ISO to discuss resource adequacy construct on Tuesday, April 5, at 1:30 p.m. CDT in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

10.     Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of Montana-Dakota Utilities, Co. to discuss electric resource planning and gas supply and pricing outlook on Wednesday, April 6, at 10:00 a.m. CDT, in Room 413 of the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

11.     A hearing in docket EL10-011 will be held April 12-14, 2011, beginning at 9:00 a.m. CDT each day, in Room 412 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

 

 /S/ Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
puc@state.sd.us
March 1, 2011