Mindanao electricity market operations delayed to mid-2019

By Alena Mae S. Flores – November 29, 2018 at 07:30 pm
from manilastandard.net

Commercial operations of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market in Mindanao were delayed to middle of next year, according to an official of the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines.

“Target [for the start of the operations] is next year, around middle of the year or thereafter,” IEMOP president Francis Saturnino Juan said.

IEMOP took over the operations of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market, the country’s trading floor of electricity, from Philippine Electricity Market Corp. in September.

Juan said WESM Mindanao’s commercial operations were delayed because of the ongoing software audit of the new market system.

“It will be the one used for WESM Mindanao,” he said.

Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella earlier said there were still some technicalities that needed to be resolved.

WESM is a centralized venue for buyers and sellers to trade electricity as a commodity where its prices are based on actual use (demand) and availability (supply).

WESM began commercial operations in Luzon in June 2006 and in the Visayas in December 2010. It was created under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001 to reflect the actual cost of electricity and lower power prices through more efficient production and competition.

Fuentebella said the New Market Management System for WESM Mindanao remained to be completed.

“The system that PEMC is auditing to make it five minute intervals is taking longer so they are looking at October to make it online and applicable,” he said.

Trial operations for the integration of the Mindanao grid to the WESM was launched June last year.

The trial operations program signaled the start of implementing test cases of a market-based mechanism for the efficient scheduling, dispatch and settlement of energy withdrawal and injections in the Mindanao grid.

Mindanao posted excess generation supply starting 2016 with the entry of 748 megawatts of new generation capacity.  This is expected to increase further by 1,260 MW this year.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the establishment of WESM Mindanao “signals the start of a competitive electricity market in the region whose costing is very transparent.”

“WESM facilitates a transparent electricity market with which Mindanao power generators will have an avenue to trade un-contracted power supply. WESM will provide consumers more sources of electricity to choose from, increasing their chances of lower-priced energy,” he said.

“WESM Mindanao will enable a transparent and fair mechanism to bring in more competition, more investors and a sustainable business climate that will eventually redound to empowering consumers from Mindanao of their power of choice,” said Cusi.