Tips and Tricks for GADS Data Reporting

Generator Availability Data System (GADS) data is information that is entered into the Generator Availability Data System and NERC requires generators with specific MW generating capacity to report data. The data is used for analyzing generator reliability and availability. As you work towards completing data submittals, here are some tips and tricks to work out the details of the data and help you streamline the process:

NERC Data Reporting Instructions
If you’re running into issues during the submission process, there is a very good resource provided by NERC titled the GADS Data Reporting Instructions that is a great beginning reference point. Keeping this information on hand can help you resolve issues that often arise when importing, syncing, or reporting data.

Importing Data
Along with manually entering in the data for each unit there is the option of importing data in a bulk format that is especially helpful when dealing with a large volume of units. If you don’t know how to create the file that will be used to import all of the information, GADS Data Reporting Instructions contains information that will outline the process for you. If there are any errors while attempting to import this data, the specific issue should be addressed with information within the respective Event Reporting or Performance Reporting files within the GADS Data Reporting Instructions.

During the import process there may be errors that arise in regards to related field(s) that should add up to a specific total, but for some reason these field(s) don’t match. For instance, a unit will have a total number of unit startup attempts which will need to match up with the sum of the number of actual startups and the number of startup failures. Another error arises when the number of hours on a unit do not add up to the total number of hours in the month, as the different states and hours available and hours unavailable will need to add up appropriately. Sometimes there are errors given for event data where a cause code is given but the unit specified is not associated with that type of cause code. Information on cause codes, including their association to unit types, is also located with the GADS Data Reporting Instructions.

Syncing Data
After reporting all event and performance data for the quarter or year successfully, the data will need to be synced with each other. This is where the event data and the performance data will be compared and reviewed for any issues. If a unit has event data showing an outage and the unit is unavailable for an amount of time, the performance data should reflect the appropriate affected data within “Available Hours” and “Unavailable Hours” and match the times of the outage on the event side. 

Often users run into sync errors when only partial data is imported or if either the performance or event data is missing. The main cause of this issue is when a unit is retired during the reporting year and is not reported on for the rest of the year. Although the unit has the retired event through the end of that year, it will still need to have a monthly performance information input into the system. A common validation error at the end of the year is that there is an event for a unit that is left with an amplification code of 84, which is noting that the investigation is currently in progress to find the failure mechanism. These codes should be changed once known and should be resolved to the appropriate code by the end of the year if the event does not continue into the next year.

As a new year of reporting begins, remember that before reporting first quarter event and performance data, each entity will need to review its contacts and units within GADS for the new reporting period. Lastly, there are also recorded training sessions located on NERC’s website if you would like to review how to report GADS data.

About the Author:
Christopher Mark is OATI Customer Systems Lead for GADS reporting SME.  He has been assisting with the resolution of import and validation errors for over three years.