Agree on all points. A few nuances are that wind tends to be rewarded for meeting some minimum threshold of turbines. It costs X thousands of dollars to haul a crane to and from a site whether you're putting up one turbine out a hundred, so average costs go down when you build more. But one the machinery and crews are there, one solitary turbine costs about as much to erect as one amid a field of a hundred. The employee thing is huge. The wind sites I know have very minimal staffing. I think solar is even less.
On the other stuff, it gets tricker.
Utilities need newly defined responsibilities and new ways to make money, through services rather than new hardware. That kind of reform will require regulators, politicians, and risky experiments. Very few states — New York, California, Massachusetts, a few others — have consciously set off down that path.
I'm not sure exactly what the article is referring to here, but the Independent System Operators (ISOs) have markets for things like capacity and frequency regulation.
Capacity boils down to the ability to meet demand. Does your generator run by burning a pile of rocks you keep on site? Pretty good chance you'll be able to supply demand when needed, so you get full credit. Is your plant powered by wind that, by its nature, varies with the weather? You get 17% credit. The generators get some payment for capacity.
Frequency regulation is about changing the load and generation balance. This balance is important, so companies are paid for this to the extent it's needed. Batteries are already doing this in some areas, otherwise it's mostly done by the big power plants. They do it inherently. Wind and solar can do it, if they're told to do it. Making a market for it gives price signals to everyone. It's revenue for large stations until they're slowly priced out.
I say all that in regard to this:
Therefore the need for monopoly protection of utilities may be becoming a thing of the past. If the grid is municipally-owned, the grid owner must only maintain the connection between the consumer and the producer of their choice.
The connection between supply and demand is an important piece, but so is capacity and frequency. In industry lingo, that's what the Balancing Authority does. They acquire sufficient capacity and frequency regulation (and probably singe other things) to meet demand. The output of wind and solar fit into that, but when supplied to an end user, they don't see the aggregated and dispersed capacity and frequency costs that are going to, in part, fossil and nuclear generation.