THE Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (Amreco) Inc., is asking the government and other stakeholders to find alternative mechanisms to address the electricity market in Mindanao before the island is connected to the Visayas grid.
Amreco, with the Power Supply Aggregation Group Corporation (PSAGCORP), is proposing an alternative electricity market only as one of the options subject to a thorough study of the problems confronting the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) in Luzon and the Visayas and consider the perceived peculiar power condition in Mindanao.
“We want to make it clear that we are not against electricity market scheme in Mindanao, but rather we want our concerns be heard by the Department of Energy considering that there are other options than to put up a WESM to implement the government’s circular on selling electricity in the island, particularly to the Amreco consumers,” said Sergio Dagooc, Amreco president.
Amreco has been consistent in pushing for the establishment of an independent market in Mindanao that is separate from the WESM administered by the Philippine Electricity Market Corp.
Amreco wants the Mindanao market to be managed by stakeholders and market participants in Mindanao.
A series of workshops and the creation of a technical working group in cooperation with generation and transmission companies, notwithstanding the distribution utilities, were organized by Amreco to enable and clarify definitions of the problems and constraints in the Mindanao Power Grid.
The output of the workshop would be useful in reviewing the proposed WESM in Mindanao.
The perspectives shared by participants would craft and implement a "responsive mechanism" while WESM Mindanao is not yet operational, said Amreco.
“We are aware of the pros and cons of the WESM operation in the Luzon and Visayas grids where prices of electricity have gone up instead of making it more affordable to the poorest of the poor of consumers,” Dagooc said.
Ameco said that one of the issues they would tackle is the uncontracted available capacity of generating companies (gencos).
It proposed that there should be selective dispatch of hydro power where it would only be on peak hours, genco to genco contracts where these companies are allowed to buy power from among themselves for replacement power, unification of uncontracted capacities of electric cooperatives to the uncontracted capacities of the distribution utilities.
Amreco PSAGCORP proposed that instead of a WESM, a Mindanao Power Auction should be established as the electricity market mechanism for Mindanao.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 15, 2017.