Mindanao electric cooperatives say their views on WESM disregarded

Electric cooperatives in Mindanao are opposing the terms under the planned wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), claiming that their recommendations during the Department of Energy’s (DoE) consultations were not considered.

In a news conference here Friday, the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AMRECO) said one of their main proposals is establishing an “independent” market that will be managed by local industry stakeholders and not the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC).

The 33-member AMRECO, which accounts for a majority of the electricity distributors in Mindanao, is also pushing for a lower price cap than the proposed P32 per kilowatt hour.

Following the posting and call for comments on the draft guidelines for the Mindanao WESM on its Web site in January, the DoE held consultations in five major cities in February and early March. The power supply market is scheduled for launch on June 26.

AMRECO President Sergio C. Dagooc said PEMC officials do not understand and are not “considerate” of the problems in the energy sector of Mindanao.

“We have experienced that in the Interim Mindanao Electricity Market or IMEM,” Mr. Dagooc said.

He added that the system operator of the Mindanao WESM should have board members who come from the southern islands’ consumer and religious groups, among others.

AMRECO established the Amreco Power Supply Aggregation Group Corp. in 2014 to consolidate the needed capacity of its members and be able to buy a bigger volume from the short-lived IMEM that was set up in late 2013.

However, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) ruled that the aggregator company cannot sign supply contracts as it does not have the legal standing to cover the financial obligations of cooperatives that fail to pay the power suppliers.

In late February, PEMC President Melinda L. Ocampo said in a news conference here that the financial capacity of electric cooperatives remains the biggest concern in the planned opening of the WESM.

Read more here.

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