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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
December 18, 2012, at 9:30 A.M. CST
Room 412, Capitol Building
Pierre, South Dakota

MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION MEETING

Chairman Chris Nelson called the meeting to order. Present were: Commissioners: Kristie Fiegen and Gary Hanson; Commission Counsel: John Smith and Rolayne Wiest; Commission Advisor: Greg Rislov; Staff Attorneys: Karen Cremer and Kristen Edwards; Staff Analysts: Brittany Mehlhaff, Brian Rounds, David Jacobson, Jon Thurber, and Jim Mehlhaff; Consumer Affairs Supervisor: Deb Gregg; and Staff: Sherry Dickerson

Also present were:
Kara Semmler, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson, representing Common Point LLC; Rich Coit, South Dakota Telecommunications Association; and Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc.

Joining the meeting by telephone were:
Tim Olson, Al Brogan, and Jeff Decker, NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy; Gary Clayton, Rosebud Electric Cooperative, Inc.; Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.; and Jason Topp and Paula Hustead, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC.

Consumer Reports

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

The Commission received a total of 62 contacts since the last report was prepared for the December 4, 2012 Commission meeting.

10 of the contacts involved telecommunication services, 20 of the contacts involved electrical services, 9 contacts involved natural gas service, 2 contacts involved gas and electric service, 8 contacts involved cell phone service, 4 contacts were related to the Do Not Call Registry and 9 contacts were related to issues not regulated by the PUC.

1,820 of the 1,862 complaints received in 2012 have been resolved.

Electric

1.     EL12-057     In the Matter of the Request for a Declaratory Ruling by NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy regarding the recovery of curtailed energy costs through the Fuel Adjustment Clause (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Al Brogan, attorney for NorthWestern Energy (NorthWestern), stated that NorthWestern's material was set out thoroughly in its Petition for Declaratory Ruling and that its requested ruling is based on substantial precedent in the treatment of similar costs for other utilities and other types of costs having similar characteristics. Mr. Brogan stated that NorthWestern is requesting that the Commission grant its request for a ruling that its costs for scheduled curtailment under its power purchase agreement with Rolling Thunder I Power Partners for energy from the Titan I Wind Project are recoverable under the automatic adjustment and pass through provisions of SDCL 49-34A-25.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve the declaratory ruling as requested by NorthWestern that certain curtailment costs required to be paid under a power purchase agreement are part of the cost of energy that's delivered under contract and are entitled recovery under the fuel clause. Motion carried 2-1. Commissioner Nelson dissented.

2.     EL12-058     In the Matter of the Joint Request for Service Rights Exception between NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy and Bon Homme, Yankton Electric Association, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Matthew Tysdal, staff analyst, stated that the service rights exception will allow Bon Homme Yankton Electric Association, Inc. (B Y Electric) to provide a three phase electrical service to an irrigation well located in NorthWestern Corporation dba NorthWestern Energy's (NorthWestern) territory. B Y Electric has three phase facilities closer to the well, which will save the customer a considerable amount of money in construction costs. Mr. Tysdal recommended that the Commission approve the Service Territory Exception Agreement between NorthWestern and B Y Electric.

     Commissioner Fiegen moved to approve the requested service rights exception. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     EL12-059     In the Matter of the Request for Approval of an Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Cherry-Todd Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Rosebud Electric Cooperative, Inc. (Staff Analyst: Matthew Tysdal, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Matthew Tysdal, staff analyst, stated that this filing is part of the GIS mapping project to verify all SD electric service territory boundaries for input into the ArcMap software. Mr. Tysdal recommended that the Commission approve the Electric Service Territory Boundary Agreement between Cherry-Todd Electric Cooperative, Inc. and Rosebud Electric Cooperative, Inc.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to approve the proposed electric service territory boundary agreement.  Motion carried 3-0.

Natural Gas

1.     NG12-006     In the Matter of the Filing by Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. for Approval of an Application for Authority to Implement an Interruptible Natural Gas Transportation Service Rate 86 and Associated Tariff Revisions (Staff Analysts: Dave Jacobson, Patrick Steffensen, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Ms. Tamie Aberle, Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. (MDU) requested that the Commission approve the proposed Interruptible Natural Gas Transportation Service to be made available to customers in its East River Natural Gas System. Mr. Dave Jacobson, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission grant approval.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve MDU's proposed new East River Transportation Rate 86 and associated tariff revisions. Motion carried 3-0.

Telecommunications

1.     TC12-161     In the Matter of the Filing by AT&T Corp. for Approval of its Access Services and Network Interconnection Services Tariff (Staff Analyst: Brian Rounds, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

Mr. Brian Rounds, staff analyst, recommended that the Commission approve AT&T Corp.'s (AT&T) Access Services and Network Interconnection Services Tariff. Mr. Rounds explained that this replaces the current AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc.'s Access Services and Network Interconnection Services Tariff in its entirety and does not include any new rate, price or practice. He stated that AT&T requests an effective date of November 1, 2012.

     Commissioner Hanson moved to approve AT&T's tariff revisions. Motion carried 3-0.

2.     TC12-185     In the Matter of the Filing by Common Point LLC for Approval of its Access Services Tariff No. 1 (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

On November 16, 2012, AT&T filed a Petition to Intervene and Request to Suspend the Tariff and Investigate. Intervention was granted to AT& T Corp. on December 4, 2012. Mr. Bill VanCamp, Olinger, Lovald, McCahren & Reimers, P.C., representing AT&T Communications of the Midwest, Inc. (AT&T) explained that even though the parties were making significant progress in addressing issues in the filing, AT&T is still requesting suspension of the tariff at this time. Ms. Kara Semmler, May, Adam, Gerdes & Thompson, representing Common Point LLC (Common Point) did not object to suspension of the tariff.

     Commissioner Nelson moved to grant AT&T's request to suspend the tariff until such time a Certificate of Authority is granted. Motion carried 3-0.

3.     TC12-187     In the Matter of the Filing for Approval of the Wireline Interconnection Agreement between Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC and Hypercube Telecom, LLC (Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer)

Mr. Jason Topp, Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink QC (CenturyLink), requested that the Commission approve the Wireline Adoption Interconnection Agreement between CenturyLink and Hypercube Telecom, LLC (Hypercube). Ms. Karen Cremer, staff attorney, recommended that the Commission approve the Interconnection Agreement between CenturyLink and Hypercube. Ms. Cremer stated that the agreement was properly filed, properly executed, and does not appear to contain discriminatory provisions, and no comments were filed.

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

4.     TC12-190     In the Matter of the Filling by Qwest Corporation dba CenturyLink for Approval of Waiver of the Utilization Threshold Requirements in Sioux Falls, South Dakota (Staff Analyst: Dave Jacobson, Staff Attorney: Kristen Edwards)

The Commission deferred docket TC12-190 until the next Commission Meeting

There being no further business, at the hour of 10:05 a.m. the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission meeting adjourned.

/S/Joy Irving
Joy Irving
Administrative Assistant
puc@state.sd.us
December 18, 2012