Megawatt is the standard term of measurement for bulk electricity. The output of power plants usually is described in terms of megawatts. One megawatt is equal to 1 million watts or 1,000 kilowatts. One megawatt is enough for 16,666 60-watt light bulbs. In the Pacific Northwest, it also is enough electricity to power about 600 homes.

An average megawatt is the amount of electricity produced by the continuous production of one megawatt over a period of one year. The term, sometimes also called average annual megawatt, defines power production in megawatt increments over time. Because there are 8,760 hours in a year, an average megawatt is equal to 8,760 megawatt-hours.