The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) will assess whether Mindanao is ready for integration into the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), which would allow the optimal dispatch of all existing resources throughout the three main grids of the country.
As directed by the Department of Energy (DOE), PEMC launched the interim electricity market in Mindanao during the latter part of 2013.
Although August marks the 21st month of full commercial operations, the market was placed under intervention in February last year, effectively halting its operation.
PEMC President Melinda Ocampo said the temporary pause has turned into an opportunity for PEMC and the DOE to thresh out technical and commercial issues with the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) and Interim Mindanao Electricity Market (IMEM) participants.
With the anticipated arrival of new generation capacity in the region, PEMC also expects supply in the grid to stabilize soon.
“Once this becomes certain, PEMC will be able to conduct an assessment of Mindanao’s readiness for WESM integration,” said Ocampo.
Based on DOE data as of last March, committed rated capacity in the region stood at 1,951 megawatts (MW), comprising plants scheduled to commercially operate within the next three years.
To support these approaching changes in the WESM, Ocampo said PEMC has taken necessary steps to improve the market infrastructure, including development of the new Market Management System (MMS), targeted to be deployed in 2017.
The new MMS, which will replace the market’s decade-old infrastructure, will primarily address hardware obsolescence.
“But beyond this, it will also implement upcoming changes in market design to accommodate RE preferential dispatch, the reserve market, and third party audit recommendations,” she said.
Ocampo also shared PEMC’s continuous efforts to improve as an organization.
In April 2014, PEMC began to implement a Quality Management System, merging it with its existing Information Security Management System, which has been ISO- certified since 2011.
In December last year, its QMS underwent certification audit, which PEMC successfully passed, culminating in a celebration last March when the organization was officially handed its certificate of ISO accreditation.
PEMC also started a project to harmonize its integrated management system with its Enterprise Risk Management Program.
The goal is essentially to ensure a cohesive framework when it comes to managing risks and uncertainties confronting both PEMC and the WESM.
Ocampo said results of the harmonization will be finalized this year.