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DoE: WESM operations must remain open

The Department of Energy (DoE) has ordered the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM), the venue for trading electricity as a commodity, to continue its operations to ensure continuous supply of electricity amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. “The WESM shall continue to operate normally unless there are circumstances that warrant the imposition of market intervention or market suspension,” the memorandum signed by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi stated. Trading participants, it said, sought the DoE’s approval to shut down some of their generating units for economic reasons. But the agency said no generation company shall be allowed to close their respective power plants for other purposes other than for planned maintenance and forced outages due to technical problems. All trading participants are also directed to continue submitting offers to the WESM in line with their respective obligations under the WESM Rules and Market Manuals. “I am calling for the utmost cooperation and compliance of our industry participants at this time. A decline in power demand does not mean that operations could and should be put to rest,” Cusi said in a statement.

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