There is this strange bug (or so I assume) in Sim City 3000 where my neighbour deals are messed up. What happens is, I make a deal of selling power to a neighbour town, and immediately this deal gets cut off, and I'm bankrupt. But I know I have plenty of excess power to sell.

Additionally, apart from the penalty I get (for apparently being the culprit of the cut-off deal), my finances window shows another (similar) amount that I have to pay for at the end of the year (shown in the 'neighbour deals' row), but this amount gets added at another time than the penalty for the broken deal.

This has happened several times in a row.

According to the game's pie chart, I am using 708.000 MW-h of power a year, and all my power plants show they use 29% of their max. capacity.
(708.000/29 * 100) - 708.000 = 1.733.379 MW-h = the other 70% of excess power.

The neighbour deal is about me selling 50.000 MW-h a month, so obviously I can spare that amount of power.

I read something online about this, saying that the cause may be a shortage of power cables going to the neighbour town. But I installed 6 extra power cables (connecting with the respective neighbour), and my last deal was a selling of about 40.000 MW-h, where I had only 1 power cable. So an additional 6 should be quite enough.

Does anyone know what can solve this issue? I have to fix this right away, or there's no point in continuing the game, as I'm completely broke.


I've found that (at least a part of) the problem lies withing the distribution of my power. My city has a river in the center, and is built around this river on both sides. Just now, I found out that, for some reason, the power for the neighbour deal is only subtracted from power plants on just one side of the river. This causes my power plants to run at full capacity for a while (even though the deal is cancelled the very first second).

I've now built a bridge over the river, with power cable towers next to the bridge on both sides of the river. But it doesn't seem to make any difference. Does anyone know if the power should get distributed by default, or otherwise how to make it distribute some other way?

Whether this works like it's supposed to or not, there is another part of the bug; after the deal gets cancelled, when I remove the power connection to the respective neighbour, the mayor of that town notifies me of the cancellation, and again I get a penalty/fine. So that's two fines for one cancelled deal. Sweet.

  • @bwarner May I know why you removed the last sentence? Not every detail has to be strictly nessecary info right? – paddotk Mar 25 '13 at 14:28
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    I cannot speak for bwarner, but I would have removed it for containing unnecessary foul language. – Colin D Mar 25 '13 at 14:50
  • Foul? :p It was merely a joke, and I even replaced some letters with asterisks.. Aw well. – paddotk Mar 25 '13 at 16:32
  • There's also a known bug with water deals detailed here: sc3000.com/knowledge/… – Tahlor Jul 11 '19 at 19:56

Response to edit about bridge:
You say you built a bridge to try and transfer power between two isolated parts of your city. The problem is roads don't help supply power. Only zones, power lines and civic buildings radiate a power grid out. For reference, the power that they radiate out in every direction is 4 tiles for zones and civic buildings, and 2 tiles for power lines.

You'll need to build a powerline over the river if you want to connect your two sections of your city. It is the same as constructing a bridge, except you do so with power lines. This will allow the power to flow between the isolated sections of the city, and hopefully supply enough power to the neighbour.

Original answer, addressing the glitch:

I have a similar issue sometimes with water pipes.

A few things that seem to solve it for me (seems to happen randomly)

  • The in-game excuse is that the power must be able to flow through to the connection easily. Try making your connection come off your power plant, and straight into the side of the wall to the neighbour. (as opposed to travelling through your city).

However, I've found connections to be finicky at best, and they randomly keep dropping as you've described. Some things which seem to solve it for me are:

  • Save and Restart the game, and re-accept the offer.
  • Delete and rebuild all power connections leading to the neighbour. These are the steps I take:
    1. Pause the simulation.
    2. Delete the power connections.
    3. Un-pause the simulation.
    4. Make sure that the Utilities guy is telling you that you have 'Power to Spare'
    5. Re-pause the sim,
    6. Rebuild the power connections,
    7. Un-pause again. You should get an offer for the deal, accept, and hopefully it should stick around this time. I think what happens is that the game only senses one power connection, because that's all you had in the original deal. (Even if you've built more in between, it still only recognises one. Deleting them all and rebuilding them forces a recheck.
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  • Thanks for the suggestion. It's not completely right, though, I think, mainly because you say 'rebuild power connections' at two different points. I did try your solution but it didn't work, unfortunately. – paddotk Mar 26 '13 at 10:38
  • I've also found another part of the problem, please see my edit. – paddotk Mar 26 '13 at 10:39
  • Sorry, I've edited my solution to make it clearer what I meant. (you only need to delete/rebuild once). I've also added a response to your edit. – Robotnik Mar 26 '13 at 22:09
  • Damn, I wish the game told me about bridges and water-crossing powerlines. I didn't know that, as I didn't know about building bridges until yesterday.(of course i did try to build one the first time i played it, but not knowing they need to be long, it didn't work) – paddotk Mar 26 '13 at 22:24
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    I've built a power line over the river and then follwed your instructions, and it worked. Thanks! – paddotk Mar 27 '13 at 23:54

I've only just discovered this thread, but thought i'd add a suggestion. I had a similar problem with water and power, particularly when a neighbour had increased the borrowing over several deals. If you play the game with the speed set on 3 or 4 bars then years tend to fly by pretty quick. I would suggest keeping an eye on the age of your power plants and water pumps as this turned out to be the problem for me. I was checking how much usage i was getting from the pumps, but not paying attention to the water capacity (the same can be said for power) - Therefore i was under the impression i had enough to sell, but the ageing plants/pumps didn't have the capacity for it. If basing a fair deal of your income on deals, then i'd suggest changing all power and water buildings halfway through their life span.

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A possible reason... Your neighbor's city is too large in population and size relative to your city size and you are not able to supply the amount of water or electric needed to them?

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