By Alena Mae S. Flores – January 04, 2018 at 07:00 pm
Commercial operations of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market in Mindanao may be pushed back to October, the Energy Department said.
Energy Undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella said some technicalities still needed to be resolved to activate WESM.
“It’s been moved to June, second quarter but it could also be pushed back further to the last quarter, around October,” Fuentebella said.
The department earlier announced the launch of WESM Mindanao in the second quarter of 2018.
WESM is a centralized venue for buyers and sellers to trade electricity as a commodity where 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 reduce power prices through a more efficient production through competition.
Fuentebella said the Philippine Electricity Market Corp., operator of WESM, reported that 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…We also target WESM Mindanao for June due to the readiness of the players,” he said.
Fuentebella said the department would meet with Mindanao stakeholders to ensure their readiness to WESM Mindanao’s operations.
Trial operations for the integration of the Mindanao grid to WESM was launched in June last year.
Mindanao had excess generation supply in 2016 with the entry of 748 megawatts of new generation capacity. The excess is expected to increase further by 1,260 MW until 2018.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi earlier 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,” said Cusi.
“WESM will provide consumers more sources of electricity to choose from, increasing their chances of lower-priced energy,” he said.