Mindanao’s power spot market to go live by yearend

The wholesale electricity spot market (WESM) in Mindanao is all set to start commercial operations by yearend, according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDa).

MinDa Deputy Executive Director Romeo Montenegro said that “with all systems in place and rules laid out,” the commercial operation of WESM in Mindanao will happen by the end of 2022.

“Mindanao gets ready to transition from bilateral contracts to market operated electricity regime with the anticipated commercial start of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) Mindanao by yearend,” he announced via social media last week.

MinDA, Department of Energy (DOE), and Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), representatives of various electric cooperatives attended last week’s WESM Mindanao roadshow that was jointly organized by Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) and the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (AMRECO) at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

Montenegro said the electricity market is expected to unlock advantages, such as having market-driven electricity price, transparency of dispatch, power sourcing flexibility for grid connected electric cooperatives, and market viability for renewable energy players.

“As co-chair of the Mindanao Power Monitoring Committee (MPMC), MinDA had supported measures, both policies and programs, put forward by DOE to improve the Mindanao power situation, address pricing infirmities and accelerate renewable energy deployment especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in Mindanao.”

DOE-Energy Management Bureau (REMB) Senior Science Research Specialist Jordan Ballaran said there are some recurring issues that needs to be fully addressed before WESM in Mindanao opens. “So for that reason they will open it with some considerations on those issues.”

Established under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, WESM serves as the country’s electricity trading market.

The commercial operation of WESM in Mindanao has been postponed many times due to unfinished software audit, among others.

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