Megawatt Hour Definition

A Megawatt Hour is a unit of measurement that describes the amount of energy produced by one Megawatt over the course of one hour.

You can express this as either Watts or kWh depending on where you live and how your utility company calculates its billing.

Megawatt Hours are used to describe the level of demand for electricity on a utility grid. Megawatt Hours are also used to estimate the amount of energy needed to power equipment, vehicles, and various household appliances over time.

Megawatt Hour vs. Kilowatt Hour

Megawatt Hour and Kilowatt Hour are both units used to measure the rate at which something uses energy over time.

A Kilowatt Hour is a unit of measurement that describes the amount of energy produced by one Kilowatt over the course of one hour. 

The Megawatt Hour is simply a larger measure of energy than the Kilowatt Hour (1,000 Kilowatt Hours in one Megawatt Hour) and is often used to measure the amount of energy needed to power a city or an entire country.

Uses of Megawatt Hour

The Megawatt Hour is most often used in reference to electric power generation, specifically on the grid.

One Megawatt Hour represents exactly one Megawatt of electricity being consumed for one hour.

Megawatt Hours are referred to when describing or estimating the total energy usage of a home, building, city, etc. Many other types of power generation such as that from hydroelectric and thermal sources can be described by this unit of power.

Producing Megawatt Hour

One Megawatt is equivalent to 1 million watts so it would take 1000 hours or about 83 days for one Megawatt Generator to produce one Megawatt Hour. Megawatt conversions are done in order to compare Megawatts to Megawatt Hours.

Megawatts are usually much larger than Megawatt Hours and the conversion is used when referring to large outputs like power grid usage or energy consumption of homes and buildings.

To produce a Megawatt Hour, you will need the following:

  • Approximately 1,100 Pounds of Coal

  • 7,600 Cubic Feet of Natural Gas

  • Over its lifetime, 1/20th of a solar panel

  • A wind turbine spinning for 30 minutes

  • Over a Hydro Dam, 1.5 million gallons of water flowing

  • 79 pounds of uranium ore and 0.1 ounce of enriched uranium

Megawatt Hour Conversions

There are many different types of measurement units that can be applied to measuring electricity consumption or produced by various methods. Here are some of the formulas to convert Megawatt Hours to different energy units.


Benefits of Using Megawatt Hour

There are several benefits of using Megawatt Hour as your unit of energy:

  1. Megawatt Hour is extremely useful when estimating the total amount of power consumed by a household or building over time.

  2. Can be compared to other units of energy such as Megawatts and Kilowatts in order to get a better understanding of how much electrical power an object uses and/or produces.

  3. Estimate energy generation from various sources such as electricity produced by hydroelectric and thermal power plants. Megawatt Hours are also used when estimating the amount of solar radiation that is captured by photovoltaic panels over time.

  4. Using Megawatt Hours helps to make the consumption or production of Megawatts easier to comprehend and estimate.

Key Takeaways

Megawatt Hour is a unit of measurement used to describe the amount of Megawatts that are produced or consumed over the course of one hour.

There are many different types of Megawatt Hour conversions depending on what type of energy unit you want to convert to.


1. What is Megawatt Hour?

Megawatt Hour is a unit of measurement that describes how much energy was produced by one Megawatt over the course of one hour.

2. What are Megawatt Hour conversions?

Megawatt Hour conversions are units of energy that Megawatt Hours can be converted to. The following are some Megawatt Hour conversions: Megawatts, Kilowatts, Joules, Megajoules, Megaelectron Volts, Electron Volts, Ergs and Kilojoules.

3. What are the uses of Megawatt Hour?

The Megawatt Hour is used to describe power consumption, electrical power generation and solar radiation energy capture. It can also be used when estimating how much energy a household or building consumes over time.

4. What is the difference between Megawatt Hour and Megawatt?

The main difference between Megawatts and Megawatt Hours is that Megawatts are used to describe electrical power production but Megawatt Hours are used to describe electrical power consumption and production.

5. How do I convert Megawatt Hours to Kilowatts?

To find Kilowatt Hours, simply multiply Megawatt Hours by 1,000.

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