Average spot market prices drop in February

wesm trading floor

Prices at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) dropped 13% in February as more power generating units reconnect to the grid, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said. 

Power rates fell to Php6.09 per kilowatt-hour (kwh) late last month, as supply increased by 5.86% or 771 megawatts (MW). In January, the spot market price was at Php 7.07/kwh following forced power plant outages in Luzon and the suspension of WESM’s Visayas operations due to Typhoon Odette.

John Paul Grayda, IEMOP’s Manager for Market Simulation and Analysis, said that the country has experienced a sufficient level of supply throughout February. IEMOP, WESM’s operator, also saw an increase in power demand from January, which is a normal trend in the industry.

Power demand rose to 9,700 MW in February from 8,500MW in January with the rise in economic activity. 

WESM resumed trading activities for the Visayas Grid, except for Bohol, in January. Trading for the entire Visayas went back to normal in February after Bohol was reconnected to the grid with the installation of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) emergency restoration system (ERS). The ERS serves as the temporary replacement of NGCP’s two special towers in the province, which Odette toppled.

Meanwhile, the 668MW Unit 2 of Aboitiz Power Corporation’s GNPower Dinginin (GNPD) coal power plant in Mariveles, Bataan is ready for testing and commissioning, which IEMOP said is scheduled for the first week of May. 

The Department of Energy is relying on GNPD should other plants go on forced outages in the summer, particularly the weeks before and after the May 9 automated presidential elections. 

GNPD Vice President Roberto Racelis, Jr. said in a BusinessWorld report that the commercial operations of Unit 2 will depend on the results of the testing and issuance of the certificate of compliance from the Energy Regulatory Commission.