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Collegiate Wind Competition

The Collegiate Wind Competition challenges teams of undergraduate students from a variety of programs to offer a unique solution to a complex wind energy problem, providing each student with real-world experience.

Follow the ChallengeView Challenge Rules

Competition Overview

Wind energy—now the largest source of renewable power in the United States—can help meet the nation's goals of 100% clean energy by 2035 and a net-zero-carbon-emissions economy by 2050. The growing wind energy industry will need a robust workforce to fill a wide range of roles, including:

  • Wind turbine designers, manufacturers, construction workers, and operations and maintenance workers
  • Wind farm project developers, financial analysts, and public relations specialists.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) helps college students prepare for these roles through real-world experiences with wind energy technology, project development, finance, communications, and outreach.

By participating in the CWC, schools and students connect with wind energy experts and industry contacts, enhancing schools' curriculum offerings and strengthening students' professional networks.

Explore CWC alumni and industry testimonials to learn more about the CWC's positive impact on students and the wind industry.

students designing wind turbine prototype at a conference.

Who Can Participate?

Teams can be comprised of undergraduate students from:

  • A single four-year college or university in the United States
  • A four-year college or university in the United States as the lead institution partnering with a two-year institution in the United States, such as a community college
  • A four-year college or university in the United States as the lead institution partnering with an international institution, with both institutions being represented at the final CWC event

    International teams will not be eligible to receive support funding from the U.S. Department of Energy or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and must provide their own support.

Meet the teams participating in CWC 2023.

Who Can Apply?

  • Applications can be submitted by one student, multiple students, and/or a faculty advisor.
  • Teams do not have to be fully formed to apply. Faculty can still submit an application if students and team leads have not yet been identified, and students can submit if they have not yet identified a faculty advisor.
  • In either case, in their application, students should describe how they intend to recruit their faculty advisor, and faculty should describe how they intend to recruit students.

How Do I Apply?

DOE is accepting applications for CWC 2024 through June 15, 2023! Apply to CWC 2024 on the CWC HeroX page.

To learn more about the CWC 2024 application requirements, explore the CWC 2024 Rules Document

DOE has announced the colleges and universities selected to participate in Phase 2 of CWC 2023. CWC 2023 is scheduled to take place in Boulder, Colorado, in May 2023.

Competition Structure

Throughout the school year leading up to the CWC final event, participating teams focus on four competition elements, outlined below:

Turbine Prototype Contest & Turbine Testing Contest

Design, build, and present a unique, wind-driven power system based on market research and test the wind turbine in an on-site wind tunnel.

Project Development Contest

Research wind resource data, transmission infrastructure, and environmental factors to create a site plan and financial analysis for a hypothetical wind farm.

Learn more about the Project Development Contest.

Connection Creation Contest

Partner with wind industry professionals, raise awareness of wind energy in your local community, and work with local media to promote your team's accomplishments.

General Competition Timeline

Each Spring: CWC organizers begin accepting applications for the next year's competition. Interested schools fill out an application to participate in CWC during the upcoming school year.

Each Summer: CWC organizers select the teams who will participate in the competition, during the first half of the upcoming school year. Project funds are available to the participating teams.

Each Fall: Teams prepare their first set of submissions.

Each Winter and Spring: Teams prepare their final submissions, conduct final turbine testing, and present their work to a panel of wind energy experts at the final CWC event.

Important Dates

DOE begins accepting applications for CWC 2024:

Monday May 1, 2023

CWC 2023 final event in Boulder, Colorado:

Monday, May 15-Friday, May 19, 2023

Deadline to apply to CWC 2024:

Monday, June 15, 2023

All dates are subject to change including contest openings, deadlines, and announcements.

Sign up for updates for the Collegiate Wind Competition here.

Prepare to Join the Wind Energy Workforce

We're looking for diverse, multidisciplinary teams of college students to solve today's wind energy challenges and build the skills and industry connections that will prepare them for careers in clean energy.

Apply to Participate in CWC 2024