26 March 2024

In its latest monthly briefing, the Independent Electricity Market Operator of the Philippines (IEMOP) reported the latest market data as of 24 March 2024 which indicated a stable supply averaging around 18,900 megawatts (MW). However, the period saw a notable surge in average demand, escalating from 12,372 MW in February to 13,185 MW in March. This increase was observed across regions, with Luzon exhibiting a 6.1% increase, followed by Visayas at 6.4%, and Mindanao at 8.4%.

The higher demand levels eventually resulted in a lower supply margin, dropping by 19% from 4,757 MW last February to 3,860 MW as of March 24. This drop occurred despite an average supply increase of 138 MW.

IEMOP likewise reported planned and forced outages from several power plants during the first week of March. The combined planned outages, mainly from large conventional generators such as coal, natural gas, geothermal, and hydroelectric plants totaled 2,724 MW. Additionally, there were capacities that went on forced outages amounting to a total of 1,062 MW largely from coal and natural gas plants during the same period.

Consequently, the average price of electricity experienced a marked increase, climbing from 4.03 PhP/kWh to 5.46 PhP/kWh as of preliminary data in March 2024. Regionally, the average spot price surged in Luzon from 3.97 PhP/kWh in February 2024 to 5.26 PhP/kWh in March 2024, whereas Visayas and Mindanao witnessed price hikes of 4.58 PhP/kWh to 6.26 PhP/kWh and 3.71 PhP/kWh to 4.20 PhP/kWh, respectively.

Withal, the Mindanao-Visayas Interconnection Project (MVIP) has significantly improved supply security in the Visayas and Luzon grids by allowing excess power of up to 450 MW to be exported from the Mindanao grid. On average, The MVIP allowed an average of 341 MW to be exported to Visayas, whereas the Leyte-Luzon HVDC link connecting Visayas to Luzon provided an average of additional 296 MW to support meeting the demand in the Luzon grid.