South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 4, 2010, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 414, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota
MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
Chairman Dusty Johnson called the meeting to order. Present were: Vice Chairman Steve Kolbeck; Commissioner Gary Hanson; Commission Attorneys John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys Karen Cremer and Kara Semmler; Staff Analysts Terri LaBrie Baker, Bob Knadle, Stacy Splittstoesser, Brian Rounds and Tim Binder; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Demaris Axthelm.
Also present were: Brett Konecke, May, Adam, Gerdes and Thompson, representing ,TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP; Jon Schmidt, Steve Hicks, James White, and Jeff Rauh, representing TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP; James Wilcox representing Xcel Energy; Pam Bonrud, Sara Dannen, Bill Thomas, Jeff Decker, and Tom Glanzer, representing NorthWestern Energy; Dennis Mears, Jeff Lemen, Mark Helland, Kim Pederson, and Kevin Kouba representing Otter Tail Power Company, Jerry Roitsch and John Harter.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Dave Prazak and Jason Grenier, representing Otter Tail Power Company; Ross Hargrove, Natural Resource Group, Staff Expert; Paul Blackburn, Plains Justice, representing Dakota Rural Action; and Peter Larson, President, Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, Inc.
(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)
- Status Report on Consumer Utility Inquiries and Complaints Received by the Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Deb Gregg)
Ms. Deb Gregg reported that the Commission received a total of 106 contacts since the last report was prepared for the April 20, 2010, Commission Meeting. 13 contacts involved telecommunications services; 36 contacts involved electrical services; 8 contacts involved natural gas services; 4 contacts involved cell phone services; 29 contacts were related to the Do Not Call registry, 5 contacts involved the Keystone XL Pipeline, and 11 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2010, 1,030 of the 1,064 complaints registered have been resolved.
Ms. Kim Pederson, Otter Tail Power Company (OTP), provided a brief history of OTP's Energy Partnership Plan for 2010. Mr. Brian Rounds, Staff Analyst, stated that the filing is a follow-up to OTP's earlier status filing and provided more specific results to justify the incentive. Mr. Rounds stated that Staff recommends approval of the incentive and continuance of the energy efficiency rider at its original rate until further Commission action.
Chairman Johnson moved to approve the requested financial incentive and to allow OTP to continue the Energy Efficiency Adjustment Rider until further Commission action. Motion passed 3-0.
2. EL09-026 - In the Matter of the Filing by Otter Tail Corporation d/b/a Otter Tail Power Companyfor Approval to Update Its Rates for Small Power Production and Cogeneration. (Staff Analysts: Stacy Splittstoesser, Bob Knadle, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. Jason Grenier, OTP, provided a background on the filing and suggested an amendment to the file rate schedule, which is $500,000 insurance coverage, the maximum amount allowed by law. Ms. Kara Semmler, Staff Attorney, stated Staff recommends the Commission consider the company's original filing or wait to take action until the amendment is filed.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the proposed modification as filed to the rate schedule. Motion passed 3-0.
3. EL10-002 - In The Matter of the Filing of Xcel Energy for Approval of Its 2009 Economic Development Activities and 2010 Budget. (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. James Wilcox, Xcel Energy, provided a brief summary of the Economic Development Activities. Mr. Rounds stated that Staff have verified all receipts included in the filing and recommends approval of the 2009 Economic Development Report and the 2010 Economic Development Plan.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the 2009 Economic Development Activities Report and the 2010 Economic Development Budget. Motion passed 3-0
Gas and Electric
1. GE09-001 - In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy for Approval of its South Dakota Demand Side Management Plan. (Staff Analysts: Brian Rounds, Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Pam Bonrud, NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), introduced staff of NorthWestern who will be working with the South Dakota Demand Side Management Program. Mr. Bill Thompson provided background information on Demand Side Management and how it will be used in South Dakota. Mr. Rounds stated that Staff recommends approval of NorthWestern's Demand Side Management Plan with the recommendations that 1) the Residential Lighting Rebate Program be omitted; 2) the cost recovery rider be approved by a rate approved annually by the Commission and 3) NorthWestern be allowed to make a return on their expenses, similar to the return made by Montana-Dakota Utilities and MidAmerican Energy in their approved energy efficiency programs.
Chairman Johnson moved to approve NorthWestern's South Dakota Demand Side Management plan with Staff recommendations. Motion passed 3-0.
1. HP09-001 - In the Matter of the Filing 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, Stacy Splittstoesser, Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
A transcript of this docket can be found on the website at:
Commissioner Hanson moved to approved Sarah Metcalf as the Public Liaison Officer for Keystone Pipeline. Motion passed 2-1 (Johnson dissenting).
Chairman Johnson moved that Keystone shall notify landowners after a spill of hazardous materials of the lesser of one pint or any volume which is required by any federal, state, or local law or regulation or product license or label to be reported to a state or federal agency, manufacturer, or manufacturer's representative. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to change Condition 20 as stated by the first sentence of Staff's recommendations and the second sentence of DRA's recommendations. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to adopt the Applicant's change to Condition 22(a). Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to adopt the Applicant's change to Condition 22(c). Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to adopt the Applicant's change to Condition 22(e). Motion passed 3-0.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to adopt the Applicant's change to Condition 41. Motion passed 3-0.
Commissioner Hanson moved to adopt the Applicant's change to Condition 43 to include the language regarding affected landowners. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to not allow further striking of economic value or significance from the Conditions. Motion passed 3-0.
Commissioner Hanson moved to adopt the Applicant's suggestion of BLM permitted paleontologists to Condition 44(c). Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to adopt the Applicant's change to Condition 44(d) to allow only BLM permitted paleontologists the ability to trigger the chain of events listed in Condition 44(d). Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved that instead of the wording proposed by the Applicant, the Commission's Order with respect to Condition 44(d) to make it clear that the same legal framework that BLM operates under and the Applicant has to operate under on BLM land would apply between the landowner and the Applicant to the extent applicable. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to allow Mr. John Smith, Commission Counsel, the ability to bring issues regarding these changes before the Commission for further clarification. Motion passed 3-0.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to adopt DRA's change to have the Applicant take appropriate steps to maintain confidentiality of the location of sensitive and valuable resources. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to adopt the Applicant's remaining changes to Condition 44 that have not been addressed in prior motions. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson moved to deny the request of the Applicant to change Condition 45. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 2:32 p.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned. The next Commission Meeting is scheduled for May 18, 2010.
May 4, 2010