# How Much Energy Does a Wind Turbine Generate?

A typical modern wind turbine has a capacity of two megawatts (MW). A single turbine with this capacity is expected to generate the same amount of electricity as used by just over 1000 average households.

**Calculations**

The simplest formula to estimate the amount of energy generated by any electricity generating station is:

(Power x Time) x Capacity factor = Energy (electricity) generated

The units of energy normally used are megawatt hours (MWh) and kilowatt hours (kWh) but sometimes Joules (J), Kilojoules (kJ) or Megajoules (MJ).

- Power = the rated capacity of the generating station
- Time = the number of hours in a year
- Capacity factor = an adjustment to take account of the fact that no power station operates at full output all year round

A wind turbine’s output varies with the wind speed and an average modern wind turbine has a capacity factor in the range of 25-30%. This figure should not be confused with the amount of time a wind turbine is generating energy which is much higher (usually between 75-80%).

**Example**

Here is a worked example for a 2MW (2000kW) wind turbine over a year:

- Power = 2,000kW
- Time = 24 hours x 365 days = 8,760 hours
- Capacity factor = 0.25 (25%)

Energy = (2,000 x 8,760) x 0.25 = 4,380,000 kWh

An average household uses 4,222kWh of electricity per year, so…

A single 2MW turbine generates an amount of electricity equivalent to that used by approximately...

4,380,000 / 4,222 = ** 1037 households**

**Further information**Wind energy calculations provided by RenewableUK

Wind energy calculations provided by the American Wind Energy Association