May 24, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

ERC temporarily suspends WESM operations to tame power price increase

THE Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) temporarily suspended the operation of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) under the declaration of red alert of the systems operator National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP).

“Dahil sa matinding init, tumataas ang konsumo ng kuryente na nakakadagdag sa pag-akyat ng presyo,” President Marcos announced during commemoration of the 122nd Labor Day at the Malacañan Palace.

“Kahapon lamang ay kumilos na ang Energy Regulatory Commission o ERC upang pansamantalang isuspende ang operasyon ng tinatawag na Wholesale Electricity Spot Market o WESM kapag may idineklarang Red Alert ang System Operator o NGCP. Ito ay naglalayon na pigilan ang pagtaas ng presyo ng kuryente sa gitna ng kalamidad na dulot ng El Niño,” the President said.

The WESM, created by virtue of Section 30 of Republic Act No. 9136, otherwise known as the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) of 2001, is a venue for trading electricity as a commodity.

It is where the power generators sell their excess capacities not covered by contracts and where the customers buy additional capacities on top of their contracts.

During an interview in Cotabato last Monday, Marcos assured the public that the government will carry out plans and strategies to tame power prices amid the current high demand for electricity.

The power system is experiencing an overload due to the dry spell, President Marcos pointed out, saying the government is continuously monitoring the situation because of the surge in demand.

Among the current thrust, the President said, is urging the NGCP to build the transmission lines it promised to boost much-needed electricity, especially in areas not connected to the grid.