From Cities: Skylines Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

This article is considered accurate for the current version of the game.

The power info view

Power is an essential requirement for nearly every building in your city. Most public buildings will not be able to operate without a supply of electricity. Citizens and businesses in your zoned areas will only tolerate being without power for a short time before they move out.

Like water and sewage, the demand for electricity varies between different buildings. The challenge for a mayor is to supply enough power to meet these demands, as well as ensuring that all parts of the city are connected to the power grid.

The choice of how to generate this power is up to you, there are multiple different options each with their upsides and downsides. Power plants usually cause some ground and/or noise pollution, which should be taken into consideration when deciding the type and placement of power generators. The utility of wind and hydro-electric power will also depend on the natural geography of the terrain.

Electricity grid & power lines[edit]

Power Line.png
Buildings support a power grid around them. This can be seen in as a light blue area surrounding the buildings in the Electricity city service or info view.

Ordinarily, electricity can be distributed from building to building over short distances. Sometimes it is necessary to transfer power over greater distances, and this can be done using power lines. Power lines can be found in the Electricity panel in the City Services. Place power lines within the power grids to connect them.

Power lines can be elevated using the page-up/page-down keys, just like roads. This is sometimes necessary to cross elevated roadways or roads in uneven terrain. Per cell, power lines cost ₡20 to build and ₡0.48/week to maintain. Power lines consist of occasional pylons between which wires high enough to cross roads and railway lines are suspended.

Types of power plants[edit]

Roughly defined, there are four types of power plants. Wind, resource-based, hydro-electric, and solar/nuclear. Each type behaves somewhat differently.


There are two wind-based power plants; the wind turbine, and the advanced wind turbine.

Wind-based power plants are more effective the higher the wind speed where they're located, an overview of this can be seen in the wind interface which is automatically activated when placing wind plants; the darker the green area the higher the wind speed. Wind speed will vary depending on the weather; rain, snow, and fog will reduce their power output. Buildings (including turbines) will reduce wind speed near them by a small amount.

The regular wind turbine can only be placed on land, while the advanced wind turbine can only be placed on water. Neither requires road access, or provides jobs. Wind power produces significant noise pollution.

At maximum effect, wind power costs ₡10/MW.

Once unlocked, the advanced wind turbine is generally preferred. It is more efficient, both in terms of cost and space requirements, and areas with wind speed high enough for maximum effect are generally a lot more common on water. Plus, water space is generally less in demand than land areas, and generating power in water areas makes it easier to dissipate the noise pollution over unoccupied areas.


There are three resource-based power plants; coal, oil, and garbage. They consume resources and produce significant amounts of pollution.

Coal and oil power plants will have full reserves of their resources when they are built, whereas garbage incinerators will start off empty. The fuel for these buildings will need to be supplied via trucks, and a plant will become inoperative if its deliveries cannot be made. Further supplies of oil and coal can be produced by the appropriate regions of specialized industry (for the purposes of the game, coal and ore are equivalent), however they can also be imported. Garbage for incinerators must be collected from within the city.

Coal power plants produce energy at ₡14/MW, and oil power plants at ₡16/MW. Wind and solar are more efficient to run and produce no pollution, but have a considerably higher initial cost. In the short term, coal and oil power plants are the cheapest method of increasing a city's power capacity. For example, adding 40 MW of capacity costs ₡19k with a coal plant, but ₡30k with a set of optimal wind turbines. It will take at least 68 weeks for wind power to make up this difference on lower running costs.

The garbage incinerator is only tangentially a power generator; its main purpose is to dispose of garbage. At ₡120/MW it is by far the least efficient power plant in the game, and has a similarly terrible initial cost per MW-capacity. The power generation rate is proportional to the amount of garbage in the reserve, an incinerator is only generating at 100% capacity when it is at least 50% full.


Depending on the geography, a city may or may not be able to build a useful hydro-electric dam.

Hydro-electric power is the most complicated power generation in the game. The length of dams can be adjusted at will when constructing, which will result in a difference in the height of the dam. The terrain on the both side of the river will also contribute to this. Building a short dam in valley can also result in a high dam. A higher dam will cause the water to rise higher; this may cause flooding in the low-lying areas upstream of the river. The amount of power generated is according to the difference in potential energy of the water above and below the dam, the difference in height of the water levels. The larger the difference, the more power output. It also tends to produce less electricity when the electricity demand is low (allowing less water to pass through it), and will function at maximum efficiency when the electricity demand is high.

The best option to maximize power output with the least cost is building dams in rivers with steep riversides. Such dams will then be quite high and generate huge amounts of power.

It is not efficient to place water pumping stations below the dam, as water flowing through the dam might not be consistent because it generates electricity according to the demand. The sudden demolition of a dam holding back a large quantity of water can cause a large wave of water to sweep through downstream areas, causing flooding and damage to buildings.

Solar and nuclear[edit]

Solar Power provides 70% of its power at night and will cause a drop in electricity production.

Nuclear power will produce a consistent amount of power regardless of its location or any other factor other than service funding. Solar power will only produce consistent power during the day cycle and will stop functioning during the night cycle.

The solar power plant will produce 160MW at ₡7.5/MW, the most efficient in the game other than the Fusion Power Plant monument, and potentially hydro-electric power. From a gameplay optimization perspective there is little reason not to switch to solar power when it becomes available.

The nuclear power plant produces 640MW at ₡12.5/MW. While significantly more expensive than solar power, it does have the advantage of using less space per MW, though space use is generally not considered a significant factor.

Custom power plants[edit]

Custom power plants are available in the Steam Workshop.

List of power plants[edit]

Below is a table of all the buildings that generate power.

Building Unlocked Cost
Pollution Noise
Wind Turbine.png Wind Turbine Start 6000 80 0 − 8 ∞ − 750 ∞ − 10 N/A 0 75 Output depends on the wind speed where the turbine is located.
Coal Power Plant.png Coal Power Plant Start 19000 560 40 475 14 6x5 50 50
Advanced Wind Turbine.png Advanced Wind Turbine Boom Town 12000 200 0 − 20 ∞ − 600 ∞ − 10 N/A 0 75 Output depends on the wind speed where the turbine is located.
Oil Power Plant.png Oil Power Plant Busy Town 50000 1920 120 417 16 8x5 35 50
Incineration Plant.png Incineration Plant Big Town 30000 1440 12 2500 120 5x4 100 50 Turns garbage into energy. Found in the Garbage building menu. Consumes 192 m3/week of water.
Hydro Power Plant.png Hydro Power Plant Small City Varies Varies 0 - 1600 Varies Varies Varies 0 0 Output depends on the difference in water level above and below the dam.
Solar Power Plant.png Solar Power Plant Grand City 80000 1200 160 (day)
112 (night)
500 (day)
714 (night)
7.5 (day)
10.7 (night)
13x12 0 25 Output depends on day/night cycle. Solar power produces 70% of the daytime output during the night.
Nuclear Power Plant.png Nuclear Power Plant Colossal City 200000 8000 640 312.5 12.5 15x9 0 50
Fusion Power Plant.png Fusion Power Plant Megalopolis 1000000 8000 16000 62.5 0.5 16x8 0 75 For requirements, see Monuments.


The "Power Usage" policy reduces electricity consumption by 11% in its area of effect, at a cost of ₡5/week/building.