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WESM suspended due to power oversupply during typhoon

The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) suspended the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) late Thursday after oversupply conditions on the grid during typhoon Odette (Intenational name: Rai).

The Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) said in a briefing hosted by the Energy department on Friday, that the suspension was warranted by section 1.B of Article II of ERC Resolution No. 12, series of 2018.

The resolution authorizes the ERC to consider such suspensions during extreme weather disturbances and natural calamities.

“There is no power exchange between Luzon and Visayas through the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system as of 9:40 PM of Dec. 16. Normally, the Visayas are exporting power to Luzon of up to 420 megawatts (MW),” IEMOP Spokesperson Andrea Mae T. Caguete said during the briefing.

Ms. Caguete added that peak demand recorded at midday Friday was only 395 MW. The typical peak demand level is 1,900 MW.

The administered price will also be in force for suspended intervals, or P5.27 per kilowatt hour (kWh).

The Department of Energy (DoE) has instructed cooperative administrators and grid operators to prioritize electricity restoration in places affected by the typhoon where vaccination is ongoing.

At the briefing, Energy Undersecretary Felix William B. Fuentebella ordered the National Electrification Administration (NEA), the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), and the National Power Corp. (NAPOCOR) to verify which hard-hit areas are conducting vaccinations and restore electricity to those places as soon as possible.

Typhoon Odette first made landfall in Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, at 1:30 pm Thursday.

It gained strength with sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 270 kph, at which point it was classified a super typhoon, according to the government weather service, which is known as PAGASA. – Marielle C. Lucenio 

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