The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced the 13 colleges and universities selected to participate in Phase 2 of the 2023 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC), an annual competition that aims to prepare college students for jobs in the wind energy workforce through real-world wind energy technology, project development, and outreach experience. Phase 2 will culminate at the CWC final event this spring, where the teams will present their work to a panel of judges.  

The 13 Phase 2 teams were selected from 30 Phase 1 teams based on evaluation of their preliminary design report for a prototype wind turbine, preliminary design for a hypothetical offshore wind farm site, a community education and outreach plan, and a report on the relationships each team has established with members of the wind industry.  

During Phase 2, teams will complete the wind turbine prototype design reports and wind farm site designs they started in Phase 1. In addition, they will build and test their turbine prototypes and continue to build connections with the wind energy industry and their communities. The Phase 2 teams will be given additional funding to complete their projects and attend the final event.  

The CWC 2023 Phase 2 teams are: 

  • Brigham Young University 
  • California State University Maritime Academy 
  • Iowa State University 
  • James Madison University 
  • Johns Hopkins University 
  • Kansas State University 
  • Oklahoma State University 
  • Texas Tech University (with South Plains Community College)
  • The Pennsylvania State University 
  • University of California, Los Angeles 
  • University of Colorado Boulder 
  • University of Texas at Dallas 
  • University of Wisconsin–Madison  

Among these 13 selected schools are three Hispanic-serving institutions, three Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving institutions, and one community college. 

CWC 2023 focuses on challenges associated with fixed-bottom offshore wind energy projects and calls on teams to create:  

  • A fixed-bottom wind turbine prototype for testing in a wind tunnel with a sea simulation tank  
  • A site plan and cost-of-energy analysis for a hypothetical offshore wind farm 
  • A presentation on wind energy careers, community engagement, and outreach. 

The Biden administration has set its sights on 100% clean electricity by 2035 and a net-zero-carbon-emissions economy by 2050. Wind energy—now the largest source of renewable power in the United States—can help meet those goals. The growing wind energy industry will need a robust workforce to fill a wide range of roles.  

Managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on behalf of DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office, the CWC gives college students the opportunity to build the skills and connections that will help them find jobs in the wind and renewable energy industries.  

Interested in participating in a future CWC? Sign up for email alerts to be notified when the CWC 2024 application period opens in March 2023. Interested in mentoring or otherwise supporting CWC teams? Visit the CWC Industry Engagement Opportunities page.

To learn more about the competition, visit the CWC website. To find more opportunities for students to gain renewable energy experience while still in school, visit DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Student Competitions and Prizes page. For updates on WETO activities, subscribe to the Catch the Wind newsletter.