IEMOP: March power demand up in Luzon, Visayas


Power demand in Luzon and Visayas continues to rise as the economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said. 

Based on data from IEMOP, the operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), peak demand in both grids combined reached a year-high of 13,749 megawatts (MW) on March 23. 

On a per grid basis, Luzon reached a peak demand of 11,617MW, which exceeded annual figures from 2019 to 2021. 

“The rise in demand levels in the system may be largely attributable to the imposition of Alert Level 1 in Metro Manila last [March 1], which was later on followed by the implementation of a lesser restrictive alert level status in other provinces that took effect last [March 16],” IEMOP said on Thursday. 

Peak demand in Luzon has been projected to reach 12,387MW in May.

Meanwhile, peak demand for Visayas in March stood at 2,143MW, which also breached pre-pandemic levels. 

The supply levels in the system also increased by 5.41% or 695MW to 13,546MW due to the resumption of power generators that were on outage earlier this year.

Meanwhile, the average margin for March decreased by 4.04 percent, resulting in a bigger average price of Php6.67 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) against February’s Php6.19/kWh.

As for WESM transactions in February, these accounted for 9.2% of all metered quantities or 616 gigawatt-hours (GWh). This is higher than the recorded amount of spot quantities last January which had a 5.1% or 302 GWh share of all the transactions. Meanwhile, the Effective Settlement Spot Price for the same month went down to Php6.51/kWh from Php7.02/kWh in January. 

“As the country prepares for the dry season and the upcoming national and local elections, [we] will closely monitor the market results in line with its commitment to provide transparent, efficient, and reliable market solutions and services that will power a brighter future for every Filipino household,” IEMOP said. 

Over the weekend, Luzon was placed on Yellow Alert as several power plants had unplanned outages and derated capacities.