PEMC crafts new roadmap for Mindanao WESM

by Myrna Velasco – June 19, 2016

from Manila Bulletin

With more attention now being thrown into Mindanao, the operator of the country’s electricity spot market has also been prompted on a new roadmap for the proposed power market in that grid.

In a briefing with reporters, Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) manager for training and communications Philip Adviento noted that in collaboration with the Department of Energy (DOE), they have already facilitated “initial discussions” with relevant stakeholders on the market design and implementation of Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in Mindanao.

Further consultations may still be carried out by the DOE in the coming months “on the design details” of the spot market, said Adviento.

PEMC President Melinda L. Ocampo qualified though that previous concerns still hound the planned WESM establishment in the grid – primarily the P82 million worth of purchases from the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM) that remained unsettled until now.

Nevertheless, she looks forward to a possible favorable development that this could be addressed with the next administration – especially because the incoming President is from Mindanao.

It has to be noted that some electric cooperatives in Mindanao refused to settle their dues for capacities procured from the IMEM, invoking that the establishment of an interim spot market is not in keeping with the provisions of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act.

For the affected generation companies (GenCos), this is not a welcome precept at all – hence, the establishment of a permanent WESM in the grid is being hobbled.

Some Mindanao energy players have been batting for the establishment of a spot market because this will be relevant in the mandated priority dispatch for renewable energy (RE) projects in the area.

But until the time that the outstanding arrears of the ECs with power generators would have been amicably settled, it is deemed that setting up Mindanao’s spot market would be incessantly precarious.

The energy department previously indicated that they have been constantly talking with the affected industry players on how to resolve the dilemma, yet until this time, there is still no clear way out.