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After four days of intense virtual presentations, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the winners of the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC). Judged by a panel of wind industry experts, the winner of the Turbine Digital Design contest is California State University Maritime Academy and the winner of the Project Development contest is James Madison University.

In a new era of social distancing, the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition was held via webinar on May 20, June 2, June 3, and June 17. The 12 collegiate teams replaced their poster presentations with digital slides, shared their computer screens with the judges, and presented their turbine designs and project development plans from their homes around the country.

“This year’s Collegiate Wind Competition was a particularly memorable one, as everyone involved had to quickly adapt to holding the competition in a virtual format,” said Daniel R Simmons, Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. “I am inspired by the flexibility, resilience, and dedication of this year’s competitors. These talented students are the next generation of the wind energy workforce.”

The CWC provides undergraduates with the real-world skills and experience they need to enter the renewable energy workforce. This year’s competitors were challenged to design a turbine to withstand continuous winds of 22–25 meters per second and to research and develop a plan for a hypothetical 100-megawatt wind plant in Eastern Colorado.

Watch highlights from the 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition.