RE facilities to get preferential dispatch




The Manila Times

Green Industries

THE Department of Energy on Thursday announced that all qualified and registered generating units utilizing renewable energy (RE) sources may now enjoy the option of preferential dispatch in the Wholesale Electricity Spot Market (WESM). Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla on October 5 signed Department Circular (DC) 2022-10-0031 regarding the Preferential Dispatch of All Generating Units Utilizing RE Resources in the WESM, which entails that both “must dispatch” and “priority dispatch” in the current bidding order in the WESM may now enjoy preferential dispatch. “Must dispatch” and “priority dispatch” were defined under DC 2015-03-001, establishing the integration of must dispatch and priority dispatch generating units in the WESM. Must dispatch is facilitated in the WESM by qualified and registered intermittent rebased plants — whether or not under 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. The enjoyment of must dispatch is based on the difficulty to precisely predict the availability of RE resource, thereby making the energy generated variable and irregular, and the availability of resource inherently uncontrollable pursuant to Section 20 of the Renewable Energy Act (RE Act). Priority dispatch, on the other hand, is giving preference to biomass plants, under FIT System, in the dispatch schedule pursuant to Section 7 of the RE Act. Lotilla said granting all generating units utilizing RE resources, either must dispatch or priority dispatch, will aid in accelerating the development and utilization of indigenous RE resources and reduce the dependence on imported conventional energy sources. This will minimize the country’s exposure to price fluctuations in the global market, making the supply and delivery of electric power more stable and secured from international geopolitical conflicts. Under DC 2022-10-0031, the market operator, WESM governance arm, system operator and distribution utilities are directed to make the necessary amendments in 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.