Odette prompts trading suspension in Visayas Grid


The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) suspended operations of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market in the Visayas on Thursday night due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in the region.

This resulted in the usage of the Administered Price of Php5.27 per kilowatt-hour for suspended intervals, said Rhea Caguete, spokesperson for the Independent Electricity Maket Operator of the Philippines in a press conference.

There also has been no power exchange between Luzon and Visayas since late Thursday night. The Visayas Grid normally exports as much as 420 megawatts (MW) to the Luzon Grid, the largest of the country’s power networks.

“It’s as if nawalan po [ang Luzon Grid] ng isang generator at this level,” Caguete said.

Peak demand as of noon on Friday only stood at around 395MW, only a fifth of the usual estimated 1,900MW figure for the particular time.

“It’s very, very difficult to operate the market right now with this situation,” she said.

The market suspension is expected to remain until the ERC lifts it.

Meanwhile, several power facilities in Visayas went on outage, said Dir. Mario Marasigan of the Department of Energy’s Electric Power Industry Management Bureau.

Among those affected were Energy Development Corporation’s Palinpinon and Nasulo geothermal plants in Valencia, Negros Oriental, as well as the Tongonan geothermal facility in Leyte. ACEN’s Islasol solar facilities in Negros Occidental and Guimaras Wind Farm were likewise affected.

Negros Oriental was one of the provinces where Odette made landfall.

Marasigan qualified, however, that the plant outages were due to the trippings of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ (NGCP) transmission lines. NGCP previously reported that some 30 lines went out of service due to the typhoon.

Odette made its last landfall in Roxas, Palawan at mid-afternoon on Friday, as per PAGASA’s 5PM bulletin. It is now heading into the area of the West Philippine Sea just south of the Malampaya gas facility, which temporarily downsized manpower ahead of the storm’s onslaught.