Power, or electricity, is necessary for any city, as nothing will grow and no buildings will work without being powered. Therefore, power plants are needed to power up your city. If your city does not have enough power, it will start experiencing rolling blackouts, which has a catastrophic effect on your Mayor Rating. Buildings that are missing power will display a no power zot, making them easy to spot.
The game provides a variety of power plants for you to build, and others can be unlocked later on. Most power plants pollute, and so must be built away from residental zones, preferably inside the industrial zone. While there are power plants that don't pollute, this advantage is offset by a bad efficiency and thus a high monthly cost.
Power is automatically distributed among adjacent buildings, up to a distance of four tiles. If you need to transfer power over greater distances, you'll need to build Power Lines.
Power plants, like all utility structures, will deteriorate over time, which results in the capacity and thus the efficiency decreasing. If you let a power plant deteriorate all the way, it will explode, therefore, it is absolutely not a good idea to let that happen. The speed of deterioration is increased if the funding is lowered too much, therefore, avoid setting the funding below around 70%.
In addition to these power plants, there's also the Waste to Energy Plant, which, while also a power plant, is listed in the sanitation section.
Wind Power Plant
|Wind Power Plant|
|Construction Cost||§500||Capacity||200 MWh|
|Maintenance Cost||§50 / Month||Capacity Cost||§0.25 / MWh|
The power of the windmill is acceptable for initial settlement, but beyond small cities, wind power just isn't scalable; the small output and high base cost make large-scale use of wind power just not feasible.
Natural Gas Plant
|Natural Gas Plant|
|Construction Cost||§9,000||Capacity||3,000 MWh|
|Maintenance Cost||§400 / Month||Capacity Cost||§0.13 / MWh|
A viable alternative to coal or oil, natural gas has a lower level of pollution, but a higher base cost. The big issue with natural gas is its lack of raw output; natural gas plants will struggle to provide for large cities for this reason.
Coal Power Plant
|Coal Power Plant|
|Construction Cost||§10,000||Capacity||6,000 MWh|
|Maintenance Cost||§250 / Month||Capacity Cost||§0.04 / MWh|
The coal plant provides the best output-to-cost ratio, but produces the most pollution of any power plant. While it's definitely a viable option for some cities, its high pollution means you'll want to build this far away from your residental areas, preferably at a corner, to keep the pollution down.
Oil Power Plant
|Oil Power Plant|
|Construction Cost||§17,000||Capacity||7,000 MWh|
|Maintenance Cost||§600 / Month||Capacity Cost||§0.09 / MWh|
The oil plant sits between natural gas and coal in terms of both pollution and cost-efficiency, with added output as a bonus. Probably a viable option for most cities, although smaller cities might need to under-fund to keep costs down.
Solar Power Plant
|Solar Power Plant|
|Construction Cost||§30,000||Capacity||5,000 MWh|
|Maintenance Cost||§1,000 / Month||Capacity Cost||§0.20 / MWh|
High-wealth residental population: 3,000
Mayor rating: 55
The first of the viable pollution-free plants. Solar plants have a decent output, but a high cost. Solar power may support smaller cities, but large ones may require higher-capacity alternatives.
Nuclear Power Plant
|Nuclear Power Plant|
|Construction Cost||§40,000||Capacity||16,000 MWh|
|Maintenance Cost||N/A||Capacity Cost||§0.18 / MWh|
Residental population: 85,000
Energy demand (including neighbor deals): 25,000 MWh
Nuclear power stations provide a comparatively large volume of power - more than double the output of an oil power station. However, this comes at a cost: nuclear power generation runs the risk of a runaway fission reaction causing a nuclear meltdown, irradiating areas of the city and causing them to be uninhabitable. If you do intend to use nuclear power, be sure to cover it with fire stations and above all, check the power plant regularly to see if it's deteriorating.
Hydrogen Power Plant
|Hydrogen Power Plant|
|Construction Cost||§100,000||Capacity||50,000 MWh|
|Maintenance Cost||N/A||Capacity Cost||§0.20 / MWh|
High-tech industrial population: 4,000
Energy demand (including neighbor deals): 30,000 MWh
Often incorrectly labelled as a "holy grail" of energy production, hydrogen power is an excellent source of large quantities of energy, and with no pollution, but the base cost is on par with solar power and only slightly better than wind power; the polluting sources of energy are more cost-efficient. You should only build this power plant if you actually need such a high amount of power in your city, otherwise you will just waste huge amounts of money, and reducing the funding isn't desirable due to the increased rate of deterioration, which, given the high construction cost, will hurt your budget a lot.
|Construction Cost||§2 / segment||Capacity||N/A|
|Maintenance Cost||§0.10 / segment / month||Capacity Cost||N/A|
Power lines are used to connect sections of the city to the power grid that are otherwise isolated from the power plant area. They're also used to establish neighbor deals.
Power can be traded with neighbouring regions via the neighbour deals section of the budget. In this manner, cities can profit from their power generation, or have their power requirements met outside of the region. City planners are advised to watch their budget if reliant upon traded power; if the budget goes into deficit, the city is unable to pay for the supplied power and the supply is cut, usually with catastrophic consequences, considering the necessity of power to the city.