A photo of the California State University - Chico Collegiate Wind Competition 2018 team.

From left to right: Ty Hartl, Josh Gonzalez, Jesse Jones, Carlos Morataya, Blake Beesley, Aditya Joshi, Jack Nevin, Dr. David Alexander, Aron, Sang-Mo Ryu, Olybert Velasco, John Walters, Dylan Velazquez, Trenton Waterman, Spencer Short, Andrew King, Yuanyuan Ju




California State University, Chico is on the Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll. The university is a national leader in sustainability and actively promotes a greener way of life in the community and around the globe. The team values sustainability and wants to make the world greener and safer for everyone. In this project, we have the opportunity to work with students from other backgrounds and learn about different perspectives along the way. Wind energy has obvious limitations in certain geographic regions. Despite this, there are zones where wind is scalable offering job creation as well as greenhouse emission neutral domestic energy which is why we pick wind!


Our engineering team is building a horizontal-axis wind turbine using 3-D printed turbine blades which will be used to participate in the Collegiate Wind Competition in May 2018. 


The team is researching areas with reliable wind speeds that suit the needs of our turbine for maximum efficiency within our islanded grid. Our focus is on mountainous regions with high population density and large energy demands. Mountain regions present a competitive advantage in our model, because those who love the outdoors are generally more inclined to adopt sustainable energy production in an effort to mitigate climate change. People and businesses that love the outdoors care about the planet.


The team’s greatest strengths are our diversity and distinct educational backgrounds everyone brings to the table. Comprised of students from business management, electrical, mechanical and mechatronic engineering, entrepreneurship, nursing, construction management, computer science, and project management, the team is highly technical and narrowly focused on interdisciplinary business applications. A majority of our team is comprised of juniors and seniors graduating in 2018–2019. Every student brings unique perspectives and specializations, helping our team grow from the idea stage into deployable infrastructure offering economic prosperity across regions and sustainable energy production. In addition to our cultural diversity and educational backgrounds, we feel our business model is very strong. Our model focuses on consumers and organizations with livelihoods directly threatened by climate change.


There are always new and unforeseen hurdles to overcome in business ventures. For our team, deployment is the greatest hurdle. Our competitive advantage, target market and scalability are clearly defined. Execution and deployment of the product are the greatest hurdles. After successful deployment of our first turbines, our implementation strategy is going to be clearly defined, and the process will be smoothed out. The second greatest hurdle for our team to overcome is production. Production logistics surrounding manufacturing are not clearly defined, but the support of our alumni network serves as a guide enabling us to understand how and where to manufacture. The third most important hurdle to overcome is human resources and company culture. Our core team is culturally and educationally diverse, bringing a rich and competitive approach to problem solving. As we grow from an idea to a business, we aim to maintain a diverse and unique company where each member is seen as invaluable and integral to mission success.


Our team is very excited about the competition. We hope to gain experience in cross-departmental communication. Many of us are from opposite sides of campus and unfamiliar with what the person next to us does. The chance to learn how to communicate with team members and classmates we don’t usually come in contact with and learn their language is something we are passionate about. In addition to gaining a better understanding of communication and disciplines, we hope to grow our idea past the competition into a profitable business. There is a high level of curiosity around what the futures holds after the competition. Each team member believes the venture adds value for consumers and views the strategy as promising for future growth across the world. 


Our team engages the community in a number of ways. The first is accomplished through utilizing our alumni network. Many alumni are eager to see recent graduates exercise our entrepreneurial efforts. Through their guidance, mentorship, and regular communications, we are engaging our alumni network so that when we are alumni we can do the same for future graduating classes. The second is by utilizing the business community in Chico. In 2016, George Anders of Forbes wrote an article on the startup culture hidden in Chico, CA. The article explains the engagement and opportunities in our community where human capital is available, and the profitable startups conceived in Chico. By utilizing our alumni and our community we are promoting economic prosperity for a small town with big dreams. The last way we engage our community is by Wind Competition Wednesday, where we raise awareness about the value created from wind energy, sustainability, and recruit new teammates.  

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This webpage was submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy by the team.