Which power plant in Cities Skylines 2 is best?

Let’s look more in detail on power plant in Cities Skylines 2 because we have a lot of possible ways which source of energy use. For me is important to get know which of plants have better cost per MV and it’s worth building if you want a healthy and wealthy city.

Best power plant per MV goes to…

Nuclear Power Plant. This plant have higher purchase price for one MV which is around 6 667₡ but upkeep price is only 1 333₡ which is lowest in game. So that mean that you must invest a large into this power plant but you will get cheap energy.

You should build only one nuclear power plant in Cities Skylines 2!

But this isn’t that easy for us because Nuclear Power Plant consumes a lot of water so you need to be prepared that after building you probably need to extend this service which are additional costs.

There are for comparison other energy sources from Cities Skylines 2. I’ve looking on “total cost of MV energy” which in month 0 has only cost for build power plant and in other months are added upkeep per MV.

Cost of MV in Cities Skylines 2

Aren’t there cheaper source of power?

Yes one source of power is there that is Incineration Plant thats burn garbage and produces 250 MW. This costs only 4 000 per MV and costs of upkeep 840 per MV which is much cheaper than Nuclear Power Plant. But you need garbage to burn so for that I doesn’t use it in table bellow and graph above. Since second month is -2% cheaper than Nuclear power and as time goes on, this approach pays off more and more.

Cost table of MV energy in Cities Skylines 2

Bellow is important table of cost of one MV on output and order in which I thin that they are best. This relative prices are good for comparison but…

Power PlantCost of MVUpkeep of MVOrder
Wind Turbine5 0003 0007️⃣
Small Coal Power Plant5 0003 5006️⃣
Gas Power Plant2 6002 5005️⃣
Coal Power Plant3 3332 000🥉
Solar Power Plant7 5001 500🥈
Nuclear Power Plant6 6671 333🥇
Geothermal Power Plant5 0002 0004️⃣
Table of costs of MV in Cities Skylines 2

Hidden prices of MV in CS2

… there are also hidden prices of every power plant. Because some power plant produce more pollution than other and you must count with that when you build. So there you must look on this problematic more strategic probably you doesn’t want in longterm power plants which doesn’t make “clean energy”…

Power PlantGround pollutionAir pollutionNoise pollutionWater consumption
Wind Turbine20 0000
Small Coal Power Plant30 00030 00030 00012 000
Gas Power Plant10 00010 00010 00048 000
Coal Power Plant100 000100 000100 00060 000
Geothermal Power Plant15 00015 00020 0000
Solar Power Plant50 00036 000
Nuclear Power Plant150 000750 000
Pollution and consumption of power plants in CS2

… and of course some power plants like Solar Power Plant doesn’t work in night. So is good idea to build emergency batteries to balance power in your city.

Also remember a lot of power plant (coal / gas) need to be resources with coal or petrochemicals so you must import them if you doesn’t have extraction zones in your city.

Is good idea to use coal plant near coal mines in Cities Skylines 2

Where are hydro power plants?

Okay now you should say hey Martin where are hydro power plants – they are in game too so why do you don’t compare them. Thats good question this power plant should make 0 – 20 000 MV which are probably one of best source of energy in CS2.

When building hydro power plant then you see how much money you get

But when I tried build them in sandbox mode then they doesn’t operate so I doesn’t have any numbers which I should use or compare with other power sources.

But as you see efficiency is determined by “water level”

Are better Win Turbines or Small Coal Power Plant?

If you are starting with your city then is ideal to build Wind Turbines because they have less cost of MV in upkeep which is only 3 000 and Small Coal Power plant has it 3 500 per output MV. Yes you must find place where is good wind but these small steps will make your city a profitable business.

Is good idea to export energy?

Yes you should export energy which you generate in your city. But in my own experience isn’t good to focus on export much.

For example I’ve build Gas Power Plant for my city and then I get much more energy which I should export but also I get a big upside of upkeep which I must pay to that energy. So at the and my expenses grows and I didn’t get much money to my budget.

But could be good idea to build cheap energy sources like Nuclear or Solar and export energy from that sources. But depends and you must follow how much you will get for 1 exported MV. The budgeting in real simulation isn’t real time and have some slowdown, so I probably don’t have the exact metrics I’d like but I get around 2 500 or 2 600 per MV of energy.

In electricity tab you should see exports

Which mean that you must build primary solar plant if you want to export energy and get a lot of money. Other sources aren’t than profitable.

What is best strategy on building power plants in CS2?

In start is better to build wind turbines and as time goes and your town grows then is better to transform your power strategy to work with solar energy and batteries because this looks like cheap way how to get electricity in CS2. Yes batteries cost money but this look like an insignificant costs for the feature.

Battery stations
About article
Last edit: 28/10/2023
Article is actual with curent version of Cities Skylines 2 (1.0.11)
Author hours in Cities Skylines 2: 24,1
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I'm Martin, the main creator of this site. I love city builders, transport, and war strategy games. So I create this site to share my love with others! Let's make Tycoon games great again!