The champions of both the men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments were crowned last week, but there’s another important competition on the horizon that could help America win the clean energy game.

On May 5-7 in Las Vegas, 10 student teams representing colleges and universities throughout the country will vie for first place in the Energy Department’s Collegiate Wind Competition, which will enable the nation's future scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs to continue advancing America’s wind industry. The two-day competition will consist of three main events:

  1. Building and testing a wind turbine: Teams will submit documents to judges who will assess their concepts and designs for a small, operable wind turbine.  Their actual turbines will then be tested in a variety of conditions using an on-site wind tunnel.
  2. Presenting on wind energy topics: Teams will deliver a public presentation on market barriers facing the wind industry and propose solutions.
  3. Delivering a cohesive business plan: Teams will explain the business case for their turbine and pitch these plans to industry experts and audience members.

A diverse,  three-person panel of wind energy experts will score each contest mentioned above using detailed criteria such as strength of position on the topic, appropriate level of depth in exploring the topic, delivery style, and adherence to time limits.  The team that receives the highest cumulative score and conducts themselves within the collegial spirit of the event will win the competition.  

The following schools are participating in the inaugural Collegiate Wind Competition:

  • Boise State University
  • California Maritime Academy
  • Colorado School of Mines
  • James Madison University (VA)
  • Kansas State University
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Pennsylvania  State University
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • University of Kansas
  • University of Massachusetts Lowell 

Check out EERE Blog and Facebook for future coverage of the event, join the conversation on social media using #windcompetition, and go to for more information.