Peak power demand seen in June; to be in line with year-earlier GCQ levels

The Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said Friday that the dry-season peak for power demand will remain subdued relative to pre-pandemic levels, with the June forecast more or less in line with the peak recorded in June 2020, when Metro Manila was observing a more relaxed form of quarantine known as General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

In a virtual briefing, IEMOP manager for pricing valuation and analysis John Paul S. Grayda said that projected peak demand between March and June will increase steadily in a “linear manner.”

He said the projections for the four months assume peak demand that is level with demand during the GCQ of 2020. “We also considered the La Nina phenomenon,” Mr. Grayda said, referring to the weather phenomenon that typically produces cooler temperatures.

The projected peak demand levels for March, April, May and June are 11,426 megawatts (MW), 11,821 MW, 12,216 MW and 12,611 MW, respectively.

In June 2019, the system’s peak demand was 13,450 MW.

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The peak forecasts apply only to the Luzon and Visayas islands. Mindanao is not yet included in the wholesale electricity spot market’s (WESM) operations.

In January and February, system peak demand was 11,015 MW, and 11,485 MW, respectively.

The average spot price in February declined 15.1% from a month earlier to P2.22 per kioWatt-hour (kWh).

According to Mr. Grayda, the spot price is expected to “remain at P2 per kWh level for the summer months.”

Last month, the IEMOP said that it hopes to launch the WESM in Mindanao by June after the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) approved the WESM’s Price Determination methodology, as expressed in a manual of WESM guidelines, principles and pricing mechanisms.

The IEMOP is a non-profit corporation that operates the WESM, a venue for generators to sell excess power not covered by contracts, and where customers can buy additional output on top of these contracts. — Angelica Y. Yang

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