WESM continues trading amid Luzon lockdown

wesm continues trading amid luzon lockdown - WESM continues trading amid Luzon lockdown

THE Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) is still operating during the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) said Saturday that both the system and market operators on WESM have submitted their Business Continuity Plans (BCP) amid the island-wide implementation of a total lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In a text message, Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) Chief Operating Officer and Head of Trading Operations Robinson P. Descanzo said the power demand in Luzon is “significantly low” compared to summer months due to the lockdown from March 17 to April 14.

“The market is still continuous in its operations. The demand for Luzon is significantly low compared to summer months for obvious reasons],” Mr. Descanzo told BusinessWorld.

Last week, the Department of Energy (DoE) noted a 30% drop in electricity demand as businesses temporarily closed following the imposition of the island-wide quarantine.

Following a DoE order, the WESM operator has implemented its BCP, which includes its close coordination with the government’s Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases and the release of status updates on its market operations to all trading participants and stakeholders.

Meanwhile, the system operator in Luzon reported that the island’s grid was “normal.”

“The Commission has been closely monitoring the activities in the WESM and there is no breach in the criteria or parameters that would warrant the declaration of a market suspension at this time,” ERC Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Agnes Vicenta S. Torres-Devanadera said in a statement.

The ERC noted that prices in the WESM have been declining in the past days due to lower electricity demand.

Electricity prices on WESM as of March 20 rose P53 to P1,692 per megawatt-hour (Mwh). — Adam J. Ang

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