By Danessa Rivera (The Philippine Star) | Updated December 28, 2016 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) is ready to meet the June 2017 target to implement an electricity spot market in Mindanao, its top official said.
The company is just awaiting the directive from the Department of Energy to start operating the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in Mindanao, PEMC president Melinda Ocampo said.
“According to Sec. Cusi, it will be June 2017, but then we’re still awaiting for their promulgation,”Ocampo said.
DOE’s promulgation is necessary to brief stakeholders and participants of the spot market.
“For the promulgation, they will have to go there. They will have to meet the stakeholders and participants, to inform them of the policies. PEMC will just follow the policies,” Ocampo said.
But while waiting for the DOE directive, PEMC will start undertaking measures for the speedy implementation of WESM Mindanao.
PEMC officials have met with Mindanao’s system operator last Dec. 22.
“We need to move faster because the target is June 2017. While waiting for their directives, on our part, we really need to comply with the target date. If that is the case, we’ll do whatever we can do, even without the directive,” Ocampo said.
Last November, the Energy chief ordered the faster implementation of WESM Mindanao to ensure a reliable and stable supply in the region’s power grid.
Established under the Electric Power Industry Reform Act of 2001, WESM serves as the country’s electricity trading market.
PEMC currently operates the country’s electricity spot market in Luzon and Visayas.
Mindanao was not part of the WESM and its power grid is not connected to the national grid.
Instead, an Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM) was set up on Sept. 26, 2013 and started full commercial operations on Nov. 26, 2013 as a trading floor for electricity in the region, similar to WESM in Luzon and Visayas.
IMEM was suspended in February 2014 following a grid-wide power interruption in the region, preventing power companies with excess generating capacity to offer their output to distribution utilities (DUs).
Apart from instances of power interruptions during its operations, PEMC also faced the difficulty of getting payments from DUs for the capacity bought in IMEM.