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The first offshore wind park in the United States is planned for Nantucket Sound, five miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in an area with optimal wind speed and direction. The wind park will consist of 170 wind turbines (each 260 feet tall with 164 foot blades) spread over a 25 square mile area of the sound (see the map at left). When the wind park is completed in 2005, the project will generate enough electricity to power more than a half million homes. The wind park will be developed on Horseshoe Shoal, a shallow area in the sound that is almost above sea level at low tide, making construction a relatively simple process that will not interfere with boat traffic. The turbines will be spaced about one-third of a mile apart and connected by undersea cables.
Not everyone in the area is excited about the project, however. The area is a tourist destination and many people are upset about the impact of building large wind towers in pristine waters that are used by pleasure boaters and commercial fishermen. The developers insist the towers will be nearly invisible from shore, but others believe they will be visible and offensive, especially at night with hundreds of navigation lights.