The future of wind electricity is far from certain. Currently, planned additions to wind capacity will be built almost equally by utilities and nonutilities (Table 34.). Of the five utility-planned units, two are located in Wisconsin and three in Texas. Completion dates of 2000 are scheduled by Wisconsin Electric Power Company and Wisconsin Public Service Corporation for both of that State's wind projects. In Texas, wind projects are scheduled for completion in 1999, 2003, and 2004 by Texas Utilities Electric Company.
In many cases, the planned projects were not selected because of their economic competitiveness, but were initiated because State governments or Public Utility Commissions provided additional incentives for development. Among the States with special incentives are California, New York, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
In addition, many utilities are contracting for small amounts of wind energy on an experimental basis because wind holds considerable promise over the long run, especially as turbine costs come down and fossil fuel prices potentially increase. Since renewables generally are not cost-competitive for utility applications, information about some State incentives is highlighted below. Examples of wind projects are discussed, with emphasis on the reasons for project selection.