March WESM rates almost double from February

January spot market prices lowest in six years – PEMC

The average price in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) hit Php4.23 per kilowatt hour (kWh) this month, nearly twice the previous month’s, as both power demand and generator outages increased, according to the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP).

IEMOP noted a gradual surge in power demand as the economy recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the approaching summer season, in which electricity usage normally spikes up.

WESM’s operator added that 13 generators halted their respective operations, as of March 10.

IEMOP Manager for Market Simulation and Analysis Division Trading Operations John Paul Grayda said that spot market prices were particularly high during the first week of the month. He added that the Php2/kWh going rate for the past five months might increase further beginning April.

The projected increase will specifically reach Php2.22/kWh for April and Php2.69/kWh for May, subject emergency outages, government response to the pandemic, and possible natural calamities.  IEMOP said the projections were based on the “base case supply and base week demand from April to June 2021.”

IEMOP likewise announced that the five-minute WESM’s commercial operations is targeted to begin on June 26.