Ok, so here's some concrete numbers:
a new nebraska coal plant: $.038/KWH
two new missouri plants and one in southern illinois 4.9 cents
capital costs to fuel/maintenance costs (similar for all new plants in and around missouri)
new illinois plant @4.9 cents/KWH, the fuel emissions control and maintenance costs to capital costs are 2.5 to 1
older midwestern/missouri coal plants 2-3.5 cents/KWH (capital costs are mostly paid and less costly emission control, only thing you're paying for is fuel and maintenance).
a wind farm in northern missouri: 5.5 cents/KWH (supply from the windfarm fluctuates heavily and even with subsidies for the builders and operators the wholesale cost is more than coal-fired power. With this wind farm the operators are still losing money - the contracts they signed at 5.5 cents/KWH even with their subsidies on the construction and operation side were not enough, the amount of power generation projected and modeled was greater than what they are actually obtaining - this is a story played out across the country with windfarms in the midwestm, in PA, and even upstate NY not producing what was projected over the last few years.
In summary, with heavy taxpayer subsidies at the construction and operation side wind power is not only not competative (5.5cents vs. less than 5 cents for even the most modern, pollution control choked coal power plants) but even with higher rates for a land-based high wind windfarm, the rate of 5.5 cents is not enough for the operators and investors to make money. At their current price contracts, they are losing a lot of money. Why are utilities buying this more expensive wind power? often due to ratepayer subsidies (through gov't mandated renewable power percentages); you not only pay for expensive renewable energy through your taxes, but also hidden in your electric rates.
Sierra club forcing taxpayers and ratepayers to pay for wind energy: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/mar/2 ... wer_plant/
This page will give you an idea why I pay almost 15 cents/KWH while my relatives in Missouri pay 7 cents or less per KWH, pay special attention to the strong-arming NY did to xcel energy. (NY state strong-arming of AES has recently caused my cousin to lose his job at AES westover as well): http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?ti ... k_and_coal