The Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines said Tuesday peak demand at the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market declined by around 700 megawatts in the first week of the modified enhanced community quarantine enforced in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
The government imposed the MECQ from August 4 to August 18 amid the clamor from health workers for a two-week reprieve as virus cases continued to surge.
IEMOP chief operating officer Robinson Descanzo said during a virtual briefing that peak demand was observed to decrease by 696 MW in the first week of MECQ in comparison to the two weeks prior to its resumption because of the reduction in commercial activities.
“Peak demand drastically dropped by about 700 MW. From 12,200 MW, it went down to 11,500 MW. That’s the impact of the modified ECQ compared to the general community quarantine. Less activity in the commercial outlets, some manufacturing [plants were] closed, and there was no public transport so the mobility of the public was reduced,” Descanzo said.
System peak demand decreased by 22.3 percent or equivalent to 2,885 MW compared to the beginning of second quarter last year.
IEMOP said the peak demand was gradually approaching its 2019 demand level with only a 3.4 percent or 424 MW difference from the previous year particularly for the month of August.
“Overall, given the limited operations of establishments and industries, market prices remained low despite some intervals with price spikes which were attributed to supply restrictions and plant outages,” the agency said.
IEMOP data showed that the August rates at WESM, the country’s trading floor of electricity, went down to P1.99 per kWh as of Aug. 20 from P2.08 per kWh on July 20 and P3.19 per kWh on June 20.
Descanzo said the P2 per kWh average rate for August could be sustained if there would be no major plant outages.
Available power supply reached 13,606 MW in August, down from 14,027 MW in July.
IEMOP is a non-stock, non-profit corporation mandated to operate the WESM.