Generating Availability Data System (GADS): NERC pc-GAR

NERC's pc-GAR programs expand the effectiveness of Generating Availability Data System (GADS) reporting by allowing specialized data retrieval and report generation. Users may access operational and reliability information from more than 7,100 generating units, in a manner maintaining participating companies’ anonymity across nearly 600 utilities that report to NERC.

The pc-GAR family of software allows the user to conduct data searches and analyses based on a wide variety of selectable, specific criteria. The program requires no additional support programs, it is a stand-alone program.

All pc-GAR programs include operating performance data, operating statistics, and fuel characteristics. The data available through pc-GAR dates back to the year 1982, and is updated annually to include data through the last fully reported calendar year.

Hundreds of data combinations are stored in the unit design, operating data, availability statistics, and fuel characteristics files. The data in pc-GAR is validated when submitted by the reporting utilities in GADS, assuring a high-level of information accuracy. pc-GAR facilitates user access to historical data, and enables user development of trends. Users have access to GADS design data, which may be used to analyze units and major equipment by type and operating statistics.

All retrievals initiated in the pc-GAR program will automatically generate in any other pc-GAR product versions on the same computer, because the software programs access the same data and interact with each other. Therefore, a benchmarking peer group created in one version of pc-GAR, may be opened in other versions of pc-GAR software and the same retrieval process will be available.

The program is logically arranged and structured using menus to guide users through data and analysis selections. “New Report Wizard” helps the user learn each step in data retrieval. The user's guide also provides step-by-step instructions through the pc-GAR installation and operating procedures. The user may analyze availability data shortly after installation.

Several options are available for outputting reports, graphs, distributions and tables. Reports may be printed or exported to other word processing or spreadsheet software. Table outputs may also be exported in comma separated value (CSV) format and viewed in any software designed to support CSV files.

pc-GAR design, performance, statistical and fuel files are updated annually. Users may then access the updated data, including historical records, that date back as early as 1982. Updates contain equipment outage information for the completed year. Updates are generally available within six months of the conclusion of the previous year. The pc-GAR software will operate for 14 months after installation. After the 14-month period, the license for the software must be renewed to continue operation.

  • pc-GAR NM is designed for non-manufacturer users and is the most commonly distributed version of the program for 3rd parties and users not directly taking part in power generation or manufacturing of generation equipment.
  • pc-GAR MT is unique from the other pc-GAR family members in that it provides special computer modeling information. The “MT” in pc-GAR MT stands for “mean time”. The MT software provides mean-time-between-failure (MTBF) and mean-time-to-repair data for calculating reliability statistics such as Inherent Availability. MT allows the user to choose various types of outages or derates (forced, maintenance or planned) and any combination of cause codes to calculate the period and service hours between each outage or derate. The user can also filter on the time-to-repair for each event in the selected retrieval to remove time-to-repair too short or too long for the user’s needs. The program will automatically recalculate numbers as changes by the user are made.
  • pc-GAR PG, previously labelled SI, this version is intended for power generators and contains options for reports commonly requested by power generating companies.

Please note that pc-GAR products are only available to GADS-contributing entities (electricity generators that report event, performance, and design data on an annual basis).  For a complete pricing schedule for NERC GADS products and services go to:

Generators/operators who do not report data to GADS will not have access to pc-GAR or any GADS reports. This ruling was established by the NERC Planning Committee in November 2000.