‘WESM in Mindanao to lower power cost’

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The integration of the Mindanao grid into the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) will help lower power rates and bolster investments and economic activity in the region, President Marcos said yesterday.

Marcos made the remark after leading the ceremonial launch of the WESM in the Mindanao grid at Malacañang.

He said the integration would benefit the manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries as well as generate jobs.

“The presence of the WESM in Mindanao and an interconnected and interdependent grid in the country will not only ensure a level playing field in the competitive energy market, but will also provide assurance to investors,” Marcos said.

“In the long run, the WESM will help sustain power generation investments to meet the ever-growing electricity demand,” he added.

The WESM is a centralized venue for trading electricity for large-scale buyers and sellers.

It aims to establish a competitive, efficient, transparent and reliable market for electricity.

With the integration of the main grids into the WESM, Marcos said the country could achieve its goal of having a joint WESM for the entire nation and attain total capacity for the Philippines’ power demands.

He expressed hope that the declining fuel prices in the world market would result in lower power costs not only for industrial users, but also for household consumers.

Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil said the WESM in Mindanao would play a crucial role in the operation of the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) as it allows efficient transmission and settlement of electricity exchanges.

At present, Mindanao has 4,321 megawatts of registered capacity, while its peak demand is only at around 2,167 MW.

With the establishment of the WESM in Mindanao, around 2,000 MW of uncontracted capacities can be sold to the WESM and be dispatched at any given time.

The additional power supply can be provided to distribution utilities, electric cooperatives and other end-users when their contracted power plants are not available.

Garafil said the launch of the WESM in Mindanao would affect power pricing as it would encourage generators to compete and sell their electricity at a lower price.

The government established the WESM in Luzon in 2006, making the Philippines the first developing nation in Asia to introduce the spot market successfully.

In 2010, the WESM was established in the Visayas.

“With the presence of WESM in Mindanao, the President said the country now looks forward to completing the MVIP by end-March this year, which will benefit the people of Mindanao and the Visayas through the transmission of electricity between these islands,” Garafil said.


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