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11 Things That Can Actually Make 1.21 Gigawatts Of Power

No plutonium? No problem. We crunched some numbers to figure out what it would actually take to power the iconic DeLorean today.

1.21 gigawatts (or jigawatts depending on how you pronounce it) may seem like an arbitrary movie quote, but it's actually a very achievable level of awesome, if even for a second. Take a look at these numbers to give you some perspective:

Via Flickr: msimdottv

Hold on to your butts.


To give that some scale, each generator at the Hoover Dam weighs 4 million pounds. There are 17 of them.

That’s 1,452 big ole spinning blades.

(Based on the rated capacity of a 2.5MW wind turbine.)


Take your pick—there are currently 65 commercially operating nuclear power plants in the U.S.


Seriously. We did the math.

(Based on a hamster generating 50 milliamps of current at 3 volts.)

And we mean huge.

(Based on GE’s 7FA Heavy Gas Turbine.)


That's roughly the number of riders in 33,611 Tour de Frances.

(Based on the average rider producing 200 watts at a given time.)

Which would cover the floor size of 16 U.S. Pentagons.

(Using 150w rated solar panels with dimensions of 49.4in x 38.5in.)

Based on the horsepower of the most powerful jet engine in the world - the GE90-115B.


That's roughly 1/9 of all the horses in the United States.


Actually, a lighting bolt can sometimes produce way more than 1.21 gigawatts!

1.21 Gigawatts? Today, that's no sweat. See how #BrilliantMachines are powering us into the future:

View this video on YouTube