Surge in power market prices probed

Surges in market prices of electricity were observed in recent days.
Surges in market prices of electricity were observed in recent days.

The Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC) is monitoring “surges in market prices” in recent days when yellow and red alerts were raised by the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) in Luzon.

However, PEMC said these surges did not necessitate the imposition of a secondary price cap.

“Taking into account the several yellow- and red-alert notices issued by the system operator [NGCP] during the week of July 25 [to] 31, the secondary price-cap mechanism was not imposed, as breach of cumulative price threshold was not triggered as provided in ERC [Energy Regulatory Commission] Resolution 20, Series of 2014,” said PEMC, operator of the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM).

A secondary price cap of P6.245 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) is implemented as a price-mitigating measure, so consumers are protected from steep WESM prices when supply is tight in the spot market.

The secondary price cap is implemented once an average threshold of P9-per-kWh threshold is reached over a 168-hour period.

“As of August 2, the cumulative price threshold has not yet been breached,” PEMC said.

Based on PEMC’s preliminary data, “there are surges in market prices on few intervals,” but prices remain low in the weekend of July 30 and 31 due to decreased demand and lower temperature.

“Less occurrences of price swelling are attributable also to the power imported from the Visayas grid to augment the insufficient capacity during peak hours in the Luzon grid,” PEMC added.