With little alteration to the national power grid, the U.S. could quickly get at least 12 percent of its electricity from wind. Yet currently, wind generators supply only about 0.5 percent, in part because people don't want to live underneath the tall turbines. In Europe one solution to the people problem is to place the wind machines out at sea, where the winds are stronger anyway.
Acknowledging this potential, a Yarmouth, Mass., company plans to build America's first offshore wind farm by the end of 2005. Cape Wind Associates has slated construction of a 420-megawatt wind project on a shallow sandbar known as Horseshoe Shoal, located five miles south of Cape Cod between the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. It would be the world's second largest, after Ireland's recently proposed 520-megawatt farm.
This article was originally published with the title Blowing Out to Sea.