THE AVERAGE power price on the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) more than doubled this month to average P7.72 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from P3.85 in April, following a surge in demand and supply disruptions, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said Thursday.
“For the month of May, the market operator noted an increasing demand trend as warmer temperature prevailed throughout the country. As the dry season (progresses), average demand increased from 10,120 MW (megawatts) from the previous month to 11,091 MW in May,” the IEMOP said in a statement Thursday.
The rise in demand was accompanied by lower supply due to generator outages.
IEMOP Chief Operating Officer Robinson P. Descanzo called this month’s average “significantly high.” The next-highest monthly price average was recorded in March at P4.16 per kWh.
“Given the sustained high prices, the secondary price cap was imposed on May 7 and May 20 to 22. The secondary price cap is a price-mitigating mechanism designed to limit the persistent high market prices,” the IEMOP said in a statement.
On Thursday, the market operator also delivered an update to market participants, laying down the protocols on limited live dispatch operations (LLDO) for the three major island grids, which will come into force on May 29.
“The conduct of the LLDO is the final step prior to the commercial operations of WESM Mindanao and EWDO (enhanced WESM design and operations) on June 26. This effort is also in line with the Market Operator’s pursuit to provide sustainable market solutions and services to its stakeholders and participants,” it said.
The proposed changes to the WESM operations include reducing the time between scheduling and dispatch of power, and implementing automatic pricing corrections, among others. — Angelica Y. Yang