Spot market prices fall in Feb. as power firms resume operations

 Spot market prices fall in Feb. as power firms resume operations

THE AVERAGE wholesale electricity spot market rate fell 13% in February following the improvement of supply with several power generators returning from outages, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said on Monday. 

Rates fell to P6.09 per kilowatt-hour as of late February from P7.07 in January, after the supply of power increased by 5.86% or 771 megawatts (MW), the market operator said in a statement.

“We have experienced a sufficient level of supply throughout the month of February. Of course, as a normal trend every February, we experienced new increase in demand as compared to the previous month from January,” according to John Paul S. Grayda, IEMOP Manager for Market Simulation and Analysis, said in a virtual briefing.

Mr. Grayda said demand also rose to 9,700 MW from 8,500 MW previously as economic activity picked up.

In December, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) suspended market operations on the Visayas grid after Typhoon Odette (international name: Rai) damaged transmission facilities in the region. The market returned to operations on Feb. 9 after Bohol was reconnected.

Separately, the second unit of GNPower Dinginin Ltd. Co.’s (GNPD) supercritical coal-fired power plant will enter the testing phase on the first week of May.

GNPower Dinginin, located in Mariveles, Bataan, has two units rated at 668 MW each.

The first unit commenced operations in January. The second unit’s timetable for entering commercial operations will depend on the results of testing and the timing of the ERC’s issuance of a Certificate of Compliance, GNPD Vice-President Roberto B. Racelis, Jr. told BusinessWorld by phone on Monday.

Once the second unit starts operating, no other major capacity additions are expected this year, the market operator has said.

The IEMOP has projected 929.5 MW of additional capacity coming onstream in Luzon, 34.67 MW in the Visayas, and 143.60 MW in Mindanao by June, including GNPD’s output. — Marielle C. Lucenio