WESM prices rise 76%

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    The average price in the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) jumped by more than 76 percent in September on improved demand, according to the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP).

    In an online briefing, John Paul Grayda, IEMOP manager for pricing validation and analysis, said WESM effective spot settlement prices in September hit P3.48 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from P1.97 per kWh in August.

    Average demand for the period went up by seven percent to 10,193 megawatts (MW) from 9,522 MW.

    Garayda said peak demand last month also hit 12,586 MW compared to September 2019’s 12,423 MW, the first time peak demand breached last year’s levels since quarantine protocols were imposed last March.

    But IEMOP said the growth may not be sustained in the remaining months of the year as cooler temperatures brought by frequent rains have tempered electricity consumption.

    “La Niña is expected to be experienced until first quarter next year. With that assumption, demand for the remaining months of the year may still not breach 2019 levels or even get lower…. If the National Capital Region gets upgraded to modified general community quarantine, (that) could trigger an increase in demand,” Garayda said.

    He said sudden power plant outages and emergency trippings will also play a role in the behavior of market prices.

    For the first 12 days of October, the average market price of power in the WESM is at P2.19 per kWh while average demand is at 9,987 MW and a peak demand at 12,259 MW. These figures are lower from the entire September’s figures.

    All the figures only reflect the Luzon and Visayas grids.