WESM available in Mindanao starting December 26 – DOE 

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 December) – The commercial operation of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in Mindanao is slated to start on December 26, a Department of Energy (DOE) official revealed Friday.

Engr. Erick George D. Uy, science research specialist II at DOE-Mindanao, told the Kapihan sa Philippine information Agency-Davao on Friday that at least 69 entities are registered so far to take part in the spot market.

The WESM allows distribution utilities (DUs), electric cooperatives and power generators to participate in the scheme.

He said 15 power companies would participate in the spot market.

With this mechanism in place, Uy said that electric cooperatives and distribution utilities could get their power supply directly from the spot market, which “could prevent outages since they could tap into the ready supply to fill in their deficiencies.”

At present, he said electric cooperatives and DUs are sourcing their supply from power plants through bilateral agreements. Under the current arrangement, he said cooperatives and distribution utilities don’t have alternative supply sources.

“This is the concept of WESM. That’s why some cooperatives are experiencing curtailment… due to lack of supply. Once WESM comes in, cooperatives and DUs can get their supply from the spot market,” he said.

According to the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation, the “WESM is a centralized venue for buyers and sellers to trade electricity as a commodity where prices are determined based on actual use (demand) and availability (supply).”

The spot market, created pursuant to Republic Act 9136 or the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, started in June 2006 in Luzon and in the Visayas four years thereafter.

Uy said that there are at least 16 electric cooperatives in the island that signed up with WESM.

Distribution utilities such the Davao Light and Power Company, Cotabato Light and Power Company, Cagayan Electric Power and Light Company, and Iligan Light and Power, Inc. will also participate in the spot market, he added.

According to DOE, the establishment of WESM is needed to address “the influx of generation capacity in the Mindanao Grid, necessitating a mechanism “for efficient scheduling, dispatch and settlement of energy transactions.”

Uy said Mindanao has a total installed capacity of 4,527 megawatts as of October 31.

“This entails that we won’t be having problems with regard to supply. Our local interruptions are isolated cases within the jurisdiction of electric cooperatives and private distribution utilities,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)