How much is 1 megawatt of electricity?
The typical American home uses about 7,200 kilowatt-hours of electricity each year . Megawatts are used to measure the output of a power plant or the amount of electricity required by an entire city. One megawatt (MW) = 1,000 kilowatts = 1,000,000 watts. For example, a typical coal plant is about 600 MW in size.
According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, the number of homes powered by a MW of solar energy depends on average sunshine, electricity consumption, temperature and wind. Nationally, that's 164 homes per MW—a far cry from the ratio of 1 MW:1,000.
- One source says this 100-MW solar plant will generate enough electricity to power 36,000 homes. However, the Consumer Energy Center says one megawatt is enough to power 1,000 homes. (It appears the source was using 360 homes per megawatt to calculate the total number of homes powered.)
- The R. E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in New York is the smallest nuclear power plant in the United States, and it has one reactor with an electricity generating capacity1 of 582 megawatts (MW).
- An average 1.5-MW turbine (26.9% capacity factor) would produce the same amount of electric energy as that used by almost 332 households over a year. It must be remembered, though, that wind power is intermittent and variable, so a wind turbine produces power at or above its annual average rate only 40% of the time.
1000 Watts if used for 1 hour will consume 1000 Wh or 1 kWh or 1 unit of electricity. So 1 unit/hr = 1000 watts. Now 1 mega watt is equal to 1 million watts or 1,000,000 watts … so if we divide it by 1000 (which is 1 unit/hr) … we get 1000 units/hr.
- One terawatt hour of energy is equal to a sustained power delivery of one terawatt for one hour, or approximately 114 megawatts for a period of one year: The watt second is a unit of energy, equal to the joule. One kilowatt hour is 3,600,000 watt seconds.
- In 2016, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,766 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of 897 kWh per month. Louisiana had the highest annual electricity consumption at 14,881 kWh per residential customer and Hawaii had the lowest at 6,061 kWh per residential customer.
- The output of a wind turbine depends on the turbine's size and the wind's speed through the rotor. Wind turbines being manufactured now have power ratings ranging from 250 watts to 1.65 megawatts (MW). Example: A 10-kW wind turbine can generate about 16,000 kWh annually, more than enough to power a typical household.
A kilowatt-hour costs about $0.15 on average in the U.S. So a Megawatt-hour is $150 worth of electricity. You can look at your electric bill and see the kilowatt-hours. Of course, 1000 kilowatt-hours equals 1 Megawatt-hour.
- Natural gas, coal, nuclear and hydro remain the cheapest, while solar in its various forms is by far the most expensive. Natural gas with combined cycle (CCGT), coal, nuclear, large and small hydro, geothermal, landfill gas and onshore wind all have levelized costs below $100 per kw-h.
- A megawatt is a unit for measuring power that is equivalent to one million watts. One megawatt is equivalent to the energy produced by 10 automobile engines. A megawatt hour (Mwh) is equal to 1,000 Kilowatt hours (Kwh). It is equal to 1,000 kilowatts of electricity used continuously for one hour.
- Roughly 10000 megawatt hours per 1 million (yearly). 1 MW can power as many as 1000 homes. And other studies suggest that 45 MW can power a small city of 80,000.
Updated: 17th October 2019