By: Chris Schmidt, Associate Designer Hey everyone! My name is Chris Schmidt and I am a Tuning Designer here at Maxis. I work closely with the Scripting and QA teams to refine and improve SimCity by tweaking the gameplay and smoothing out the rough edges as we implement new systems. Additionally, I adjust the game balance in response to feedback, observation, and telemetry to try and maintain a good pace and feel to the game as it comes to life. One of the first power sources we have available in SimCity is the Wind Farm Power Plant, the go-to option for a small city starting out. Wind power is clean and inexpensive to set up, but as your city expands, you’ll have to add on additional wind turbines to match your city’s growing power needs. Each wind turbine is its own module which you place on a service road to increase your total power output. The output of each wind turbine is based on how high up it is on the terrain as well as the local wind in the map. The amount and direction of the wind will fluctuate in response to the simulator over time, which means that you will want to build more wind turbines to keep ahead of your city’s needs, and carefully choose where you put them. As an added bonus, Wind Farm Power Plants also easily indicate which way the wind is blowing, which is helpful when deciding where you want to zone your industry, that way you can make sure the air pollution blows away from your residential and commercial zones instead of towards them. The biggest worry you have when using wind power is the rare time when the wind drops too low or dies out completely, causing your city to suffer brownouts or blackouts. But you can overcome this by researching battery technology at the University. Batteries even out the output of your Wind Farm Power Plant and keep your city humming along at a steady power level through the doldrums. Additionally, as your city grows, your basic wind turbines will take up too much space to keep up with demand, and more advanced wind turbine designs (showcased right here on SimCity Insider) from University research will be needed to replace them and keep your city green as it grows. While wind power can’t compete with coal or oil for output or space savings, it is a cheap and scalable solution for when you are just starting out. And in my opinion, the coolest to watch, and I hope you’ll agree!