OWOE - Electrical Power Generation - What is a megawatt?
What is a megawatt?
Topic updated: 2015-09-01
The capacity of an electric power generating plant is measured in megawatts, which is a million watts. If a 1 MW plant runs at capacity for one hour, it will generate 1 MW-hour or 1,000 KW-hours, which is the way consumers use power. For example, a 100 watt lightbulb that is on for 1 hour will consume 100 watt-hours. The average US household uses approximately 30 KWh per day, which means that a 1 MW plant can power about 800 homes.