Universities win Energy Departments Wind Competition


Texas Tech University with South Plains College, Kansas State University and the University Texas at Dallas are among a dozen national winners of the U.S. Energy Department’s Collegiate Wind Competition.

They were picked as winners of the Phase 2 of the 2024 competition which is held every year to prepare college students for jobs in the wind energy workforce through real-world wind energy technology, project development, and outreach experience.

The Phase 2 winners, who represent colleges and universities across the United States, will be awarded a cash prize of up to $15,000 per team and will advance to Phase 3—the final phase of the 2024 competition. They will present their work at the CWC 2024 event May 5–9 at the American Clean Power Association’s CLEANPOWER Conference and Exhibition in Minneapolis.

The Phase 2 winners were selected from 32 Phase 1 winners based on evaluation of deliverables the Phase 1 winners created during Phase 2 this past fall. These deliverables included a report and video on the team’s turbine prototype fabrication and testing, preliminary design report for a hypothetical offshore wind farm site, and a report on the team’s story and their strategy for outreach to their local communities, students, and the wind industry.

During Phase 3, which will culminate at the final in-person competition in May, the Phase 2 winners will complete their wind turbine prototype designs and wind farm site designs. They will also build and test their turbine prototypes and continue to build connections with the wind energy industry and their communities.

The CWC 2024 Phase 2 winners are:

  • California Maritime Academy
  • California Polytechnic University
  • City College of New York
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Kansas State University
  • Rice University
  • Texas Tech University with South Plains College
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Texas at Dallas
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Virginia Tech University with James Madison University


In CWC 2024, the focus will continue to be on offshore wind energy. A new element for CWC 2024 is the examination of offshore wind energy’s role in a diverse power system. Specifically, CWC 2024 invites students to:

  • Propose solutions for incorporating offshore wind energy into hybrid systems.
  • Identify options for using wind energy.
  • Connect with industry and other stakeholders to learn and share what they have learned about the benefits of wind energy in the overall power grid.

The Biden-Harris Administration has set its sights on 100% clean electricity by 2035 and an economy with net-zero carbon emissions 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. The CWC, which launched in 2014, helps prepare the future wind energy workforce by inviting college students from a range of disciplines to design, build, and test a prototype wind turbine; develop a site plan and cost-of-energy analysis for a hypothetical wind farm; and conduct outreach with the wind energy industry, their communities, and local media outlets.

The CWC is funded by DOE’s Wind Energy Technologies Office and managed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.