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WESM eyed in Q4

The wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) in Mindanao is expected to start within the fourth quarter of the year, a top official of the Energy department said Thursday.At present, Energy Assistant Secretary Redentor E. Delola told TIMES, the Independent Market Operator of the Philippines has hired a third party consultant to evaluate the readiness of Mindanao to transition to the market.

“It is taking three months for the consultant to complete the evaluation, so we hope that by September everything is complete,” said Delola, adding that on April 11, stakeholders of the electricity market are meeting in Cagayan de Oro to discuss the updates on the market.

Another key issue that the market stakeholders are still waiting for, said Delola, is the price determination methodology (PDM) that the Energy Regulatory Commission has yet to release.

“We hope that when the PDM is released, every stakeholder is ready for the market operations,” he added.

The market is needed, he pointed out, because this will help distribution utilities, including electric cooperatives, to manage their electricity needs. “They can either source their peak needs from the market, or they can sell their surplus to the market,” he added.

Although he did not cite any distribution utilities that have over-contracted, Delola said that the market is important to those who have over-contracted because they have the market to sell their surplus to.

The market will also allow Mindanao to sell its surplus to the grid when Mindanao is eventually interconnected with the rest of the country.

In November last year, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) that it has started its P52 billion interconnection project between Dapitan City and Santander in Cebu.

Delola said that with the expected demand of about 10,200 megawatts of Mindanao by 2040, there is a need for it to become a market participant and interconnected with the entire grid so that it can supply its surplus or buy from if it needs more.

Assistant Secretary Romeo M. Montenegro of the Mindanao Development Authority said the operations of the electricity market will be a welcome development as this will at least allow Mindanao to sell its surplus or draw from in case it needs more.

“We will eventually not isolated,” he said, unlike at present when the island is not part of the entire grid of the country.

At present, he added, it is good that Mindanao has a power surplus which, based on the NGCP report, was at 503 megawatts as of yesterday with a peak demand of 1,780 megawatts and a capacity of 2,283 megawatts.

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