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Starting this May, 12 teams of talented students from across the United States will present a virtual showcase of technological adaptability and wind energy wizardry at the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC).

To safeguard the health and safety of all participants, the 2020 CWC will be held virtually, with teams using digital tools to present their work in May and June.

Now in its 7th year, the CWC has always been an opportunity for college students to gain real-world experience and the industry connections they’ll need to prepare for careers in the fast-growing field of wind energy.

Get to know these young innovators and learn how they’re preparing for the 2020 virtual competition.

A map of the United States. Each team’s location is labeled with the team’s name.
East Coast to West Coast and Southwest to the Midwest, the 12 teams participating in the 2020 CWC bring with them innovative ideas, commitment to sustainability, and the ambition to prepare for the renewable energy workforce of the future.
John Frenzl, NREL, 2020

About the CWC

The 2020 Collegiate Wind Competition invites teams to compete in two distinct contests: the turbine prototype contest and the project development contest. In this year’s virtual format, the turbine prototype contest challenges teams to design and create a wind turbine and load design. The project development contest invites teams to develop a site plan and cost of energy analysis for a 100-megawatt wind farm in the high-wind environment of Eastern Colorado. Teams will present both components to judges via webinar and compete for top honors.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The CWC is a selective event and being chosen to compete is an honor in and of itself. Let’s get to know some of this year’s teams, who have worked so hard and demonstrated such resilience to participate in the 2020 virtual competition.

Meet the Teams

Three new teams and nine returning teams, hailing from all corners of the United States, will represent their colleges and universities at this year’s CWC. From the East Coast to the West Coast and from the Southwest to the Midwest, these teams bring to the 2020 competition innovative ideas, commitment to sustainability, and the ambition to prepare for the renewable energy workforce of the future.  

The CWC has always been an opportunity for college students to gain the real-world experience and industry connections they’ll need to prepare for careers in the fast-growing field of wind energy. The unique challenges posed by the 2020 competition will be an opportunity for participants to develop another vital skill for the 21st-century global economy—the ability to use digital tools to collaborate and communicate ideas with people who may be hundreds or thousands of miles away.

Over the coming weeks and months, the CWC teams will be hard at work perfecting their turbine designs, assessing wind farm development opportunities, and practicing their presentations in preparation for the virtual competition. We can hardly wait to see what the wind workers of the future will unveil.

Learn more about the Collegiate Wind Competition and check out all 12 team stories.