THE Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM) has already commenced with its simulation stages as of last week, an executive of the Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) said.

“We expect it to be with no major problems, then WESM can operate hopefully towards end of September, based on their timetable or early October,” said AEV Advisor for Mindanao Arturo Milan, who was a guest during the weekly presscon at Habi at Kape, Abreeza Ayala Malls on Wednesday, June 14.

As WESM was previously scheduled to start operations by June, Milan said the cause of delay might have something to do with the interim protocol.

“Before the simulation would be implemented, they do first the interim protocol – basically how the dispatching would be done. So that’s the area that probably caused the delay for this simulation,” Milan said.

For his part, Department of Energy undersecretary Felix William Fuentebella in a text message to SunStar Davao said initial stages for the simulation and commercial operation of WESM are ongoing.

"The department circular on the launch of WESM Mindanao has been published and the interim dispatch protocol as annexed to the circular is effective as of June 7, 2017," he said.

Fuentebella said the launch of WESM Mindanao will be on June 26 with the launch event scheduled on June 28 in Davao City.

"The launch of WESM Mindanao triggers the start of the trial operations program. The commercial operation of WESM Mindanao is hinged on the full compliance of the readiness criteria as listed in the circular," he said.

When asked about the WESM model that the Association of Mindanao Rural Electric Cooperatives (Amreco) had previously proposed, he said final decisions will be up to the Department of Energy (DOE) through the Philippine Electricity Market Corporation (PEMC) as they are the ones mandated by law to run the stock market.

“Some of the inputs may be considered but I guess it will still be PEMC who will be running the WESM because they’re the ones mandated by law to. I believe that PEMC and DOE will not also discount the inputs given by Amreco because they are the ultimate users of this stock market like the private utilities as well,” Milan said.

In a separate interview Amreco president Sergio Dagooc pushes for the review of certain rules on the implementation of WESM especially those they believe to have “unnecessary charges and detrimental interest” to the consumers.

“From the consumer’s point of view, we have already paid for all the facilities of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP). That’s why the transmission charges billed by Davao Light Power Corporation (DLPC), for example, includes already the installation costs,” said Dagooc in an earlier interview.

Milan also said Mindanao is in need to be finally connected to Visayas under the WESM especially now that Mindanao has around 600 megawatts (MW) excess of electricity which, according to Milan, will double by the middle of next year to around 1,200 MW to 1,500 MW. (With RJL)