Consumer Assistance | Energy | Telecom | Warehouse | Commission Actions | Miscellaneous
arrow Commission Agendas | previous page

South Dakota Public Utilities Commission
Meeting December 6, 2011, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 412, Location Change, 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, December 5, 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 website 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 website 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.



1.   Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on November 22, 2011. (Staff: Joy Irving)

Consumer Reports

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


1.   EL11-023 In the Matter of the Petition of Northern States Power Company d/b/a Xcel Energy for Approval of a Credit Mechanism for a Department of Energy Settlement Payment Along with Deferred Accounting and Approval to Depart from Its Fuel Clause Tariff, as Necessary (Staff Analyst: Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On August 16, 2011, Northern States Power Company d/b/a Xcel Energy (NSP) filed for approval of a credit mechanism for funds received from a Settlement with the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for DOE's partial breach of its contract to begin accepting spent nuclear fuel on or before January 31, 1998. The gross amount currently available for credit is $99,966,841 on a total NSP system basis, or approximately $4.3 million on a South Dakota jurisdictional basis.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant approval for deferred accounting treatment of the Settlement proceeds?

2.   EL11-027 In the Matter of the Joint Request for an Electric Service Rights Exception between Lake Region Electric Association and Otter Tail Power Company (Staff Analyst: Ross Pedersen, Staff Attorney: Ryan Soye)

On October 14, 2011, Lake Region Electric Association (Lake Region) and Otter Tail Power Company (Otter Tail) jointly filed a request for Commission approval of an electric service territory exception. This agreement would allow Lake Region to provide electric service for a new home located within Otter Tail's service territory.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant the joint request for territory exception?


1.   GW11-002 In the Matter of the Filing by Syngenta Seeds, Inc., for the Approval of a Waiver of ARSD 20:10:12:14 (Staff Analyst: Jim Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

On November 22, 2011, pursuant to ARSD 20:10:12:17, Syngenta AG requested the Commission waive the financial statement requirements in ARSD 20:10:12:14. The company offers a $2,500,000 letter of credit or surety bond to fully collateralize its purchases and asks its request be considered at the December 6, 2011, Commission meeting.

     TODAY, shall the Commission Grant Syngenta's request?

Hydrocarbon Pipeline

1.   PS11-001 In the Matter of the Petition for Declaratory Ruling of the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission regarding 49 CFR 192.3 (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Joshua Williams, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)

On November 18, 2011, Commission pipeline safety staff filed a Petition for a Declaratory Ruling. The request seeks Commission clarification regarding the interpretation and implementation of 49 CFR 192.3. Specifically, pipeline safety staff question whether a NorthWestern Energy pipeline serving a large volume customer operating at less than 20 percent of SMYS is properly classified as a distribution line or transmission line. On November 23, 2011, NorthWestern Energy filed a Petition to Intervene.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Intervention?

Natural Gas

1.   NG11-007 In the Matter of the Filing by Minnesota Energy Resource Corporation for Approval of a Refund Plan (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On November 23, 2011, Minnesota Energy Resource Corporation filed an Application for approval of refund plan. The refund relates to a 2003 and 2004 Kansas ad valorem tax pipeline refund received by Aquila, and then to MERC as the successor, from Northern Natural Gas Company. The refund also includes monies for a true-up of gas sold versus gas purchased. MERC requests the Commission approve this request on an expedited basis pursuant to ARSD 20:10:13:20.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve the Refund Plan with less than 30 days' notice?

Rule Making

1.   RM11-001 In the Matter of the Adoption of Rules Regarding Renewable Energy Credits and Renewable, Recycled and Conserved Energy; Gas and Electric Customer Billing; ARSD 20:10:22:05; and ARSD 20:10:36:02(Commission Counsel: Rolayne Ailts Wiest)

A public hearing was held in Room 413, 4th floor, State Capitol, Pierre, South Dakota, on November 9, 2011, at 9:00 a.m., to consider the adoption and amendment of proposed rules numbered: 20:10:22:05, 20:10:36:02, 20:10:17:06, 20:10:17:07, 20:10:17:08, 20:10:17:09, 20:10:17:09.01, 20:10:17:09.02, and 20:10:38:01 to 20:10:38:07, inclusive.

     TODAY, shall the Commission adopt final rules?


1.   TC11-075 In the Matter of the Filing by Midstate Telecom, Inc. for Approval of its Intrastate Switched Access Tariff and for a Phase-In Period (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On June 22, 2011, Midstate Telecom, Inc. (Midstate) filed a petition for approval of its new intrastate switched access rates. Per ARSD 20:10:27:02.02, Midstate requested the Commission approve a higher rate than allowed under ARSD 20:10:27:02.01 and filed a cost study in support of the higher rate. Midstate also requested a phase-in period in which their current rate would be approved until November 30, 2011, after which the requested rate would go into effect.

     TODAY, shall the Commission give the Executive Director authority to enter into necessary consulting contracts?

2.   TC11-077 In the Matter of the Establishment of Switched Access Revenue Requirement for Fort Randall Telephone Company (Staff Analyst: Chris Daugaard, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On July 5, 2011, Fort Randall Telephone Company, Wagner, South Dakota, filed a switched access cost study pursuant to the administrative rules established by the Commission.

     TODAY, shall the Commission give the Executive Director authority to enter into necessary consulting contracts?

3.  TC11-088 In the Matter of the Application of Wide Voice, L.L.C. for a Certificate of Authority to Provide Local Exchange Services in South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Jon Thurber, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On October 27, 2011, the Commission received an application from Wide Voice, L.L.C. for a certificate of authority to provide local exchange services in South Dakota. Wide Voice, L.L.C. proposes to offer competitive local exchange service, including exchange access service, within the state of South Dakota using its own facilities. Wide Voice intends to offer its services initially in the territory now served by Qwest. It may also utilize resold services available from the underlying ILEC or other facilities-based carriers. Petitioner will negotiate an interconnection agreement with Qwest Corporation. On November 18, 2011, the Commission received Petitions to Intervene from AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc., Sprint Communications Company and CenturyLink.

     TODAY, shall the Commission grant Interventions to AT&T, Sprint and CenturyLink?

4.   TC11-089 In the Matter of the Filing by Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. for Approval of Establishment of Rate Center (Staff Analyst: Brittany Mehlhaff, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

On November 9, 2011, Interstate Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc., (ITC) filed a Petition for Establishment of Rate Center. ITC presently operates twenty-six local telephone exchanges serving approximately 14,232 access lines in South Dakota. Currently, both ITC and Brookings Municipal Utilities, d/b/a Swiftel Communications, provide local exchange service in certain portions of the Brookings exchange area commonly referred to as "Brookings Rural." This exchange consists of only one rate center. ITC seeks the creation of a new rate center so as to formally recognize the status quo and appropriately delineate and separate that rural portion of the City of Brookings which ITC currently serves so as to ensure that the boundaries for local calling, billing and assigning of phone numbers accurately reflect the service areas of both ITC and Swiftel. Any costs associated with the establishment of this rate center are anticipated to be de minimus and will not be passed on to ITC's customers.

     TODAY, shall the Commission approve ITC's request to create a separate rate center for that portion of the Brookings exchange served by ITC?

Items for Commission Discussion


1.   Commissioners will attend the South Dakota AARP Utilities Symposium on Wednesday, November 30, 2011, at the Casey Tibbs Rodeo Center, 201 Verendrye Drive, in Fort Pierre, S.D.

2.   Commissioners and staff will host a briefing for legislators on Monday, December 5, 2011, at 7 p.m. CST in Room 412 at the State Capitol Building in Pierre, S.D. The agenda is to discuss pipeline issues, telecommunications, new EPA regulations and wind energy.

3.   A hearing in docket EL11-025 will be held Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 1 p.m. CST in Room 412 at the State Capitol Building in Pierre, S.D.

4.   Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of the South Dakota Electric Utility Companies on Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at 12 p.m. CST at the Associated General Contractors office in Pierre, S.D. The agenda is to discuss company updates.

5.   Commissioners and staff will meet with representatives of NorthWestern Energy on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, at 3 p.m. CST in Room 412 at the State Capitol Building in Pierre, S.D. The agenda is to discuss the company's finance department overview, wholesale operations, South Dakota operations and customer care.

6.   The next regularly scheduled commission meeting will be held Tuesday, December 20, 2011, at 9:30 a.m., CDT, in Room 413 at the State Capitol Building, Pierre, S.D.

7.   The PUC offices will be closed Monday, December 26, 2011, in observance of the Christmas holiday.

8.   Commission meetings are scheduled for January 3 and 17, 2012.

/S/ Cindy Kemnitz
Cindy Kemnitz
Finance Manager
November 29, 2011