South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
May 18, 2010, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 413, 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, Brian Rounds, Tim Binder, Dave Jacobson and Jon Thurber; Consumer Affairs Supervisor Deb Gregg; and Administrative Secretary Stephanie Harmon.
Also present were: Casey Jacobson, Gavin McCollam, and Chris Miller, representing Basin Electric Power Company(Basin); Mary Hauner-Davis, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company, representing Basin; Jim Wilcox and Laura McCarten, representing Xcel Energy; Steve Willard, South Dakota Electric Utility Companies; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Darla Pollman Rogers, Riter, Rogers, Wattier, & Northrup.
Joining the meeting by telephone were: Melissa Gomes and Jose Olivaries representing Convenient Loans; Peter Hulbert, Jim Johnson, Cari Valler, Maria Koeller, Lisa Mahoney and Liam Noailles representing Xcel Energy; Suzan Stewart and Jeffrey Decker representing NorthWestern; Tony Simons representing Local Review Committee; Nguyen Vu, Bingham McCutchen, LLP, representing IntelePeer; and Julie Barghouthi representing IntelePeer.
(NOTE: For the purpose of continuity, these minutes are not necessarily in chronological order.)
1. Approval of the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on April 20, 2010. (Staff: Demaris
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the Minutes of the Commission Meeting Held on April 20, 2010. Motion passed 3-0.
- 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 91 contacts since the last report was prepared for the May 4, 2010, Commission Meeting. 17 contacts involved telecommunications services; 33 contacts involved electrical services; 11 contacts involved natural gas services; 2 contacts involved cell phone services; 11 contacts were related to the Do Not Call registry, 4 contacts involved the Keystone XL Pipeline, 1 contact involved the Keystone Pipeline, 1 contact was related to Wind Energy, and 11 contacts involved issues not regulated by the Public Utilities Commission. In 2010, 1,116 of the 1,155 complaints registered have been resolved.
1. CE10-001 - In the Matter of the Complaint Filed by Convenient Loan, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Against Xcel Energy Regarding a Billing Dispute. (Staff Analyst: Deb Gregg, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Kara Semmler, Staff Attorney, stated the complaint filed by Convenient Loan of Sioux Falls South Dakota, was originally not properly filed. Ms. Semmler stated that the largest problem with the filing has been handled by the parent company, Gentry Finance, a Texas corporation, by filing a fictitious name with the Secretary of State's office on May 14, 2010. Ms. Semmler asked the Commission take no action at this time as Staff and Gentry continue to work through other problems with the filing. Mr. John Smith, Commission Counsel, asked Ms. Melissa Gomes, Gentry Finance, to provide the Commission, in writing, information regarding where to send information regarding the docket.
Chairman Johnson moved to take no action on Docket CE10-001 at this time. Motion passed 3-0.
Chairman Johnson stated that HP09-002 would be heard with EL09-015.
1 EL09-015 - In the Matter of the Application by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. for an Energy Conversion Facility Siting Permit for the Deer Creek Station Project Combined-Cycle Natural Gas Energy Conversion Facility and Associated Infrastructure, Including a Water Supply System and Electric Transmission System. (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Brian Rounds Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
HP09-002 - In the Matter of the Application by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. for an Energy Conversion Facility Siting Permit for a Natural Gas Pipeline to Support the Deer Creek Station Project. (Staff Analysts: Nathan Solem, Brian Rounds, Tim Binder, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Ms. Casey Jacobson, Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Inc. (Basin), introduced the staff of Basin that have been working on the project. Ms. Jacobson stated that Basin and Commission Staff have reached a settlement stipulation regarding the two dockets for Deer Creek Station. Ms. Karen Cremer, Staff Attorney, stated that the Intervenors did not oppose the settlement stipulation and recommended approval by the Commission. Ms. Cremer stated that the settlement stipulation addresses only the areas that the Commission has jurisdiction over, but other areas of concern have been addressed by Basin with the other parties. Mr. Tony Simons, Local Review Committee, stated all the concerns the Local Review Committee had were addressed by Basin.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve the Joint Motion for Approval of the Stipulation. Motion passed 3-0.
3. EL10-003 - In the Matter of the Request of Xcel Energy to Take Action Prohibiting the Operation of Aggregators of Retail Customers in South Dakota. (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Mr. James Wilcox, Xcel Energy (Xcel), introduced Mr. Jim Johnson of Xcel. Mr. Johnson provided a background on the filing and asked the Commission to prohibit the operation of Aggregators (ARCs) in South Dakota. Ms. Suzan Stewart, MidAmerican Energy (MidAmerican), stated that MidAmerican is very interested in the topic and agreed with Mr. Johnson. Ms. Stewart asked the Commission to grant intervention to MidAmerican. Mr. Brian Rounds, Staff Analyst, stated that Staff recommended the Commission prohibit ARCs from operating in South Dakota and any ARCs wishing to operate in South Dakota come before the Commission for approval.
Vice-Chairman Kolbeck moved that commencing immediately, the demand response load reductions of retail customers of South Dakota regulated electric utilities are prohibited from being bid or transferred into any wholesale market, either directly or through an aggregator of retail customers, until the further order of the Commission. Motion passed 3-0
4. EL10-004 - In the Matter of the Filing by NorthWestern Corporation d/b/a NorthWestern Energy for Approval of a Contract with Deviations. (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Mr. Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), requested approval of a contract with deviations along with tariff revisions. Mr. Decker stated that if approved, NorthWestern planned to start construction on June 1, 2010. Mr. Dave Jacobson, Staff Analyst, stated that Staff recommended approval of the contract with deviations and the tariff revisions.
Chairman Johnson moved to approve the Contract with Deviations of NorthWestern. Motion passed 3-0.
Ms. Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Analyst, stated that IntelePeer filed waivers of ARSD 20:10:2:07, 20:10:27:11, 20:10:27:12 and 20:10:27:13 on May 14, 2010. Ms. LaBrie Baker stated Staff recommended the Commission grant the requested waivers and approve the switched access service tariff no. 1 effective May 18, 2010.
Vice Chairman Kolbeck moved to approve IntelePeer's Switched Access Service Tariff No. 1 with requested waivers effective May 18, 2010. Motion passed 3-0.
2. TC10-021 - In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of an Amendment of an Interconnection Agreement Between Qwest Corporation and AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc. (Staff Attorney: Kara Semmler)
Ms. Semmler stated the agreement was properly filed, properly executed and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions. No comments were filed and Ms. Semmler recommended approval of the agreement.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the amendment of the interconnection agreement between Qwest Corporation and AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc. Motion passed 3-0.
3. TC10-024 - In the Matter of the Filing by Qwest Corporation for Approval of Its Request to Consolidate the Spearfish, Lead, Deadwood, and Whitewood Rate Centers. (Staff Analyst: Terri LaBrie Baker, Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)
Qwest Corporation (Qwest) requested Commission approval for the consolidation of the Spearfish, Lead, Deadwood, and Whitewood rate centers into one rate center. Ms. LaBrie Baker stated that by approving the consolidation of the requested rate centers, Qwest customers would be able to retain their telephone number if they move within the service area. Ms. LaBrie Baker stated Staff recommended approval. Chairman Johnson asked consolidation of Qwest rate centers be placed on the agenda for the next Commission meeting as an item for discussion.
Commissioner Hanson moved to approve Qwest's request to consolidation the Spearfish, Lead, Deadwood, and Whitewood rate centers into one rate center. Motion passed 3-0.
There being no further business, at the hour of 10:36 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting adjourned. The next Commission Meeting is scheduled for June 1, 2010.
June 15, 2010