Categories: Glossary

Installed Capacity Definition

Installed capacity, sometimes termed peak installed capacity or rated capacity, describes the maximum capacity that a system is designed to run at.

If for example, a solar farm has an installed capacity of 24 megawatts, the system will have the ability – the components and hardware – to produce a maximum of 24 megawatts with optimal sun exposure.

If a system with an installed capacity of 24 megawatts has optimal sun exposure for one hour, it will produce 24 megawatt hours of electricity.

Installed capacity relates mainly to calculating the cost of solar panels. Looking at how many watt hours an installation will generate produce is used for assessing how many solar panels are required – comparing solar energy production to existing electricity usage.

Similarly, wind turbines use installed capacity to describe how much electricity may be generated by a turbine in optimal wind conditions – describing how many watts of electricity the turbine hardware can possbily produce.

This post was last modified on April 4, 2019 9:13 pm


We aim to clearly explain topics of green energy, sustainability, and smart resource use, to help you make wise decisions and generally be informed. If you like what we do, please leave a comment, or follow us on Facebook. If you have an idea for an article, or you'd like to publish an article here, please let me know.

View Comments

  • energy from solar panels can be stroed in batteries for when there is little sun light. its very expensive to install, maybe 8 grand upwards for home systems, hence its usually just used for heating up water etc.. but average *home* system can take on maybe up to 40% of that household's annual electricity useage.. it is rather expensive per square metre to buy as silicon is not so readily available to make it cheap.. but once its up there it doesnt need much maintenance except to clean it, etc.wind turbines are expensive to install but once up, not much maintanence is needed, checked up maybe every few years.. the energy can be stroed in batteries when there is no wind, i guess its def not answer B and C.edit: wind and sunlight is free so it isnt expensive to *use*

  • Good info. Lucky me I recently found your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
    I have saved as a favorite for later!

Published by