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Megawatt (MW)

Last updated: January 31, 2017

What Does Megawatt (MW) Mean?

A megawatt (MW) is equivalent to 1,000 kilowatts or 1,000,000 watts. The measurement is usually used as a means of expressing the output of power plants, or the amount of electricity that is needed to power a city. A typical coal-fired power plant produces in the region of 600 megawatts.

Safeopedia Explains Megawatt (MW)

Although a Megawatt may sound like a huge amount of electricity, a large building may require several megawatts of electricity to power lighting and air conditioning. A diesel-electric train locomotive may use as much as 12 MW of electricity and a single nuclear power plant can generate up to 1300 MW or more. Due to concerns regarding nuclear waste and emissions from coal fired power stations, the US is currently expanding its solar and wind energy electricity generation capacity and can produce over 21,000 MW of solar energy


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