Electricity spot market prices decline in March

THE Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said the average electricity spot market price in early March declined by P1.69 from a month earlier to P5.78 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

IEMOP said that in March, average demand on the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) declined 1% month on month to 9,826 megawatts (MW), while average supply increased 3.1% to 14,258 MW.

During the two-week Malampaya maintenance shutdown, Josell F. Co, IEMOP’s manager for corporate communications, said that demand surged to 9,992 MW against supply of 13,719 MW.

The average electricity spot market price was P8.18 per kWh during the period.

The Malampaya gas-to-power project was shut down between Feb. 4 and 18. During the shutdown, power plants supplied by Malampaya ran on liquid fuel.

IEMOP is a non-stock, non-profit corporation and the operator of WESM.

 Electricity companies pay the spot premium for WESM-sourced power supply when their long-term providers are unable to deliver adequate volumes.

Separately, Mr. Co said WESM Mindanao had an average supply margin of 1,429 MW with a spot settlement price of P5.23 per kWh in the first billing month of its operations in February.

“This result may be attributed to a significant supply margin reflecting a surplus in available capacity compared to an average demand of only 1,745 MW,” he said.

The majority of Mindanao’s requirements were served by coal-fired plants, which provided 62.54% of the total, followed by hydro plants (30.39%), and geothermal plants (4.44%), with 13.90% of total power consumed bought on WESM.

Isidro E. Cacho, Jr., IEMOP’s head of Corporate Strategy and Communications, said that according to the Department of Energy’s 2023 to 2024 roster of committed projects, IEMOP is expecting an additional 29 MW of solar capacity to come online in Mindanao. — Ashley Erika O. Jose