Power market automating process for flagging ‘unusual’ trading activity

THE PHILIPPINE Electricity Market Corp. (PEMC), which oversees the wholesale electricity spot market (WESM), said it is automating the process for detecting “unusual” outcomes in the behavior of market participants.

“The Market Monitoring Trigger and Offer Pattern (monitors) real-time and post-market results that will aid in the analysis of generator behaviors, portfolios, and the entire market. It will identify unusual market outcomes from monitoring market participants’ behavior through analysis of the offers submitted in the WESM by the generators,” PEMC President Leonido J. Pulido III told BusinessWorld via the company’s communications department on Aug. 12.

He said the market surveillance committee, one of the WESM’s governance committees, is developing the tool.

The PEMC will promptly respond to any signs of anti-competitive behavior if so ordered by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Mr. Pulido said.

He said the non-profit entity regularly submits market trigger reports (MTRs) detailing unusual market outcomes to the authorities.

“For the period covering May 13, 2021 to June 18, 2021 during the yellow and red alert events, PEMC submitted a total of four (4) MTRs affecting 15 trading intervals to both DoE (Department of Energy) and ERC for their respective reference and perusal,” he said.

The grid operator placed the Luzon grid under a series of red alerts between May 31 and June 2 following forced plant outages, thinning reserves and high temperatures.

The Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) also started imposing the secondary price cap (SPC) in May after noting high prices during the start of the month’s billing period.

The SPC is a price mitigating mechanism which limits high spot prices when there are “sustained high prices” in the market.

In June, the market operator implemented the SPC during 103 trading intervals between June 1 to June 20. The month before, the IEMOP imposed the cap during 55 trading intervals.

Aside from the automated monitoring tool, Mr. Pulido said other projects include upgrades to an automated monitoring system which evaluates the market operator’s performance, and the creation of a database of market rules and manuals for easy reference.

He said there is no set schedule as yet for spot market trading in Mindanao as some requirements have yet to be fulfilled.

“The declaration of the commercial operations of the WESM (in) Mindanao is contingent on the completion of the participant registration and the resolution of collection efficiency issues of some participants,” Mr. Pulido said.

Last month, the Energy department ordered the power industry in Mindanao to carry on with the WESM central scheduling scheme until the department announces the commercial operations date of the spot market.

In a July 24 advisory signed by DoE Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, trading participants in the region were ordered to adhere to the five-minute scheduling and dispatch of power scheme dictated by the market management system, and follow the “re-dispatch” instructions of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines.

Mr. Cusi added that participants must complete their WESM registration within the central scheduling period, with those failing to do so subject to sanctions. — Angelica Y. Yang

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