ERC says no need for spot market suspension

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The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) doesn’t need to be suspended at this time as the spot market is still in full cooperation.

WESM will continue to operate despite the government’s declaration of a State of Public Health Emergency throughout the Philippines (Proclamation No. 922) to address the threat of  Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report.

WESM is responsible for ensuring all distribution utilities (DUs) are providing continuous electricity services.

“The Commission has been closely monitoring the activities in the WESM and there is no breach in the criteria or parameters that would warrant the declaration of a market suspension at this time,” ERC Chairman and CEO Agnes VST Devanadera was quoted as saying.

In addition, suspending the market will result in higher prices as these will be based on prices during the previous four weeks, as observed in the Business Mirror report.

The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) has reported to the ERC that electricity demand is basically low and that the Luzon grid is in a normal state. ERC also confirmed that WESM is operating in full swing.

The regulatory body also noted that WESM prices have been moving downward due to lower demand in line of the community quarantine being enforced. 

The NGCP and the market operator Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) have assured the ERC that they can fulfill their duties.

“We also got assurance from both the MO and the SO of their abilities to continue their operations amid the nationwide Community Quarantine,” said Devanadera.

Both parties have already submitted to ERC their respective Business Continuity Plans for the COVID-19 situation. PEMC-MO is currently implementing Risk Scenario 1 or “business-as-usual.” 

“We will be in constant coordination with the SO and the MO to ensure that we are kept informed and advised accordingly of the situation of the Market in the light of the current Enhanced Community Quarantine being implemented in Luzon and in other parts of the country,” Devanadera added.