Hello, fellow mappers.
Last month's challenge had some very creative submissions! I could never have imagined the results. For this month, we have another interesting topic to tackle even if it isn't all that creative. So, yes, how do we power all those obnoxious holiday lights that our citizens put up? This is a broad challenge that can range from quite easy to quite hard. More importantly, it fills in a huge gap in our map right now. The theme of this month is "Power! Unlimited Power!" The idea for this challenge is to launch your country's electrical grid. This can range from a simple power plant to the transmission lines.
I don't purport to be an expert at this by any stretch of the imagination. I've been doing my homework on it for Mauretia for some time. For most of us, the OSM documentation is going to be invaluable. There is a pretty good write-up there about how things work (not just how they're tagged). Obviously, electricity has to be generated somewhere. This could be a hydroelectric dam, a coal plant, a mine, etc.
An easy version of this challenge might be to simply build a power-plant. Most power plants generate some type of pollution, so you'll want to keep them away from most development other than some industry, like this coal-powered plant. If you're wanting to do something like solar power or wind power, you have to carefully consider your climate. Mauretia is probably not going to be a big solar-power producer. The sea gives it a wind-power potential near the coast or in shallow waters, however. Countries like Spain have a great potential, and can capitalize on it. Those countries with volcanism like Iceland can maybe tap into geothermal power. Be sure to carefully consider what is available to your country and not a pet project that you think is better. Cost and development of the country also matters.
To get more and more difficult, add the transmission lines. Standard wooden poles in North America (Canada and United States) are generally placed about 45–60m apart on flat terrain. Tower distances can vary based on height and regional windiness. These towers, for example, are about 245m apart. Remember that transmission lines sag so they can sway in the wind. If they're too tight, they snap. Your citizens will then snap if they can't play that silly candy game on their uPhones. Also note the wide easement needed for those four transmission line complexes. Next, all that has to relay from somewhere. There's a transition substation just south of where I linked above. These lines extend for miles upon miles, so the complex here needs to be large enough to handle that amount of electricity.
I hope all this makes sense! Good luck tackling this important challenge!