Electricity is one of the two essential services immediately available to you at the start of each Cities: Skylines game (the other service is water).
To provide your buildings with electricity, you need to first build a power plant, then connect it to your buildings using power lines.
Step 1: Building a Power Plant
The first power production facilities available to you at the start of the game are the wind turbine and the coal power plant. You’ll find your power production facilities by clicking on the bolt icon on the build menu.
The wind turbine:
- Cheaper to build
- Max output: 8MW
- Needs wind resource
- No pollution
- Higher upkeep costs
The coal power plant:
- More expensive to build
- Max output: 40MW
- Needs road access to be able to import coal
- Causes ground pollution
- Lower upkeep costs
If you decide to build the wind turbine, you’ll need to place it somewhere on the map with strong wind. Selecting a wind turbine from the electricity build menu shows you the wind power overlay.
The darker the shade of blue on the map, the stronger the wind, making your turbine more efficient.
Ideally, it should be placed in a spot where it would be able to produce 8MW.
As you place your wind turbine on the map, the tooltip will indicate how much power it will be able to produce in that spot.
On the other hand, if you’ve chosen to build a coal power plant, it will need road access to the highway. (This is because the coal power plant needs to import its coal.)
Keep it some distance away from your residential zones as both the ground pollution and noise pollution it produces will affect your citizens negatively.
A safer bet is to stick it near your generic industry or garbage facilities, which are themselves polluting anyway, and won’t be negatively affected by your coal power plant.
Step 2: Connecting Your Buildings to the Grid
Now that you have your power production facility, it’s time to hook your buildings up to the grid.
In this game, electricity can ‘spread’ from one building to the ones adjacent to it, even across the street and small gaps.
However, to connect clusters further apart—as is usually the case when connecting buildings to your first power plant—you’ll need power lines.
Select power lines from the power menu, then click once at your chosen starting point to build the starting pylon. This allows you to draw power lines going from that starting point to wherever you point your cursor.
Make sure your start and end pylons of your power lines are within the electricity range of the areas you want to connect (the blue shading on the ground when in power view).
Eventually, your first wind turbine or coal power plant will no longer be enough to supply enough to power your city.
Buildings will start to complain about not having electricity, even though they should be connected to the grid.
Clicking on Power in the info views menu will show you your city’s electricity production and consumption, so you can see if it’s time to build an additional power production facility.
As you go further in the game, a wider variety of power sources becomes available to you.
|Building||Unlocked At||Build Cost (₡)||Upkeep Cost (₡/week)||DLC||Max Power Output (MW)|
|Coal Power Plant||start||19,000||560||40|
|Advanced Wind Turbine||Boom Town||12,000||200||20|
|Wave Power Plant||Boom Town||14,000||160||High Tech Buildings||20|
|Geothermal Power Plant||Busy Town||65,000||1,040||Green Cities||80|
|Oil Power Plant||Busy Town||50,000||1,920||120|
|Solar Updraft Tower||Big Town||90,000||2,240||Green Cities|
|Hydro Power Plant||Small City||varies||varies||varies|
|Solar Power Plant||Grand City||80,000||1,200||160|
|Nuclear Power Plant||Colossal City||200,000||8,000||640|
|Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Plant||Colossal City||250,000||6,400||Green Cities||480|
|Fusion Power Plant||Megalopolis||1,000,000||8,000||16,000|
Note: The build cost, upkeep cost, and power production of the hydro power plant depends on different factors in its construction, such as its size and the water height.