IS MINDANAO READY?: Coops, generators cool on WESM

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    The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has directed all distribution utilities (DUs) and other Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) players in Mindanao to comply with all requirements for the implementation of a power spot market in the region next year.

    “We note that based on the results of the recent 19th WESM Mindanao Readiness Assessment Meetings conducted by the Department of Energy, there was a delay in the completion of WESM registration by the participants in Mindanao despite the mandatory membership as provided for by the WESM rules,” said Agnes Devanadera, the regulatory body’s chair and chief executive officer.

    Devanadera said in a statement there was also a low turnout of participation in the trial operations program. She noted there was incidence of manual load dropping despite oversupply of electricity in the region.

    “The ERC enjoins full compliance with the WESM rules to avoid recurrence of manual load dropping. Otherwise, the Commission shall be constrained to impose the necessary fines and penalties on the DUs for failure to comply with the WESM directives,” Devanadera said.

    Earlier this month, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) and the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) conducted a series of roadshows and stakeholder discussions to prepare for the start of WESM operations in Mindanao next year.

    While the implementation of the spot market in the region is ready, the low level of acceptance among electric cooperatives and power generators has led to the delay in its rollout to January 2020.

    Upon the launch of WESM Mindanao, economic scheduling of power plants will be implemented in order to meet the demand requirements at any given time as it will be an alternative venue for generators and customers to buy or sell electricity.

    IEMOP was established in September 2018 as the independent electricity spot market operator. However, PEMC retained its role as the governing body of the WESM.