Qualified power producers to enjoy WESM preferential dispatch

All qualified and registered power producers using renewable energy sources should enjoy the option of preferential dispatch in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market to help stabilize the price of electricity in the market while reducing dependence on imported energy sources.

Energy Secretary Raphael Perpetuo Lotilla signed Department Circular No. 2022-10-0031 regarding the Preferential Dispatch of All Generating Units Utilizing RE Resources in the WESM on Wednesday, 5 October.

In a press statement, Lotilla said granting all generating units utilizing RE resources either “must dispatch” or “priority dispatch” will accelerate the development and utilization of indigenous RE resources and reduce the dependence on imported conventional energy sources.

The energy chief also said the move would lessen the country’s exposure to price fluctuations in the global market, making electric power supply and delivery more stable and secure from international geopolitical conflicts.

Under the new circular, the market operator, WESM governance arm, system operator, and distribution utilities should also make the necessary amendments to the WESM rules and manuals to ensure the efficient and effective scheduling and dispatching of preferential dispatch generating units.

“Giving preferential dispatch to RE-generating plants will also encourage investments for additional capacities in geothermal, biomass, or impounding hydroelectric power plants because of guaranteed dispatch in the grid at their full available capacities under merchant pricing, allowing recovery of investments,” Lotilla said.

“Must Dispatch” is facilitated in the WESM by qualified and registered intermittent RE-based plants, whether or not under the FIT System, such as wind, solar, run-of-river hydro, or ocean energy, according to the preference in the dispatch schedule whenever generation is available.

“Priority Dispatch,” on the other hand, is giving preference to biomass plants, under the FIT System, in the dispatch schedule under Section 7 of the RE Act.

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