American-Made Challenges


2024 Collegiate Wind Competition

Helping college students prepare for jobs in the wind and renewable energy workforce through real-world experiences.

This challenge is closed

CWC 2024 Final Event

This challenge is closed



The Collegiate Wind Competition

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Technologies Office launched the Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC) in 2014. CWC helps multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate students prepare for jobs in wind and renewable energy through the following activities: 

  • The Turbine Prototype Contest & Turbine Testing Contest, in which teams design, build, and present a unique, wind-driven power system based on market research and test the wind turbine in an on-site wind tunnel. 
  • The Project Development Contest, in which teams research wind resource data, transmission infrastructure, and environmental factors to create a site plan and financial analysis for a hypothetical wind farm. 
  • The Connection Creation Contest, in which teams conduct outreach with the wind energy industry, their local communities, and local media outlets to raise wind energy awareness and promote their accomplishments. 

Join the CWC mailing list to receive updates on this competition. Visit the CWC news page for updates, alumni success stories, and other CWC news. 


Teams can be comprised of undergraduate students from:  

  • A single four-year college or university in the United States  
  • A four-year college or university in the United States as the lead institution partnering with a two-year institution in the United States, such as a community college  
  • A four-year college or university in the United States as the lead institution partnering with an international institution, with both institutions being represented at the final CWC event
    • International teams will not be eligible to receive support funding from the U.S. Department of Energy or the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and must provide their own support.  
  • Teams should strive to include a diverse range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to:
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Marketing
    • Communications
    • Environmental and Public Policy
    • Social Sciences
  • Teams should also strive to include students from groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Explore the CWC 2024 Phase 2 and 3 Rules and Requirements to learn more.

Join the CWC mailing list to stay informed about CWC updates, news, and events. 

Contact us directly at with any additional questions. 


Challenge Updates

California State University Maritime Academy Claims First Place in 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition

May 9, 2024, 4:55 p.m. PDT by Carter Long

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the winners of the 2024 Collegiate Wind Competition (CWC)!

This year, California State University Maritime Academy claimed the top spot out of 12 student teams, showcasing their innovation and dedication in the field of wind energy.  

Congratulations to California State University Maritime Academy on their first-place win, and to all the 2024 CWC teams! We commend their hard work and commitment to renewable energy innovation. 

Reminder: The application period for the 2025 CWC is open!

The U.S. Department of Energy is now accepting applications for the 2025 CWC. Don’t miss this next opportunity to gain valuable experience in the field of wind and renewable energy! Submit your application through the CWC 2025 HeroX site by 4:59 p.m. MT on June 13, 2024

Present Your Project Posters at CLEANPOWER’s Poster Reception!

April 9, 2024, 12:03 p.m. PDT by Tara McMurtry

Hello, CWC 2024 teams! We have an opportunity to present your project posters during CLEANPOWER's Poster Reception on Tuesday, May 7. This event will take place on the exhibition hall floor. With this in mind, we recommend your team’s poster be no bigger than but as close as possible to 36 inches by 48 inches, landscape or portrait orientation. If you need to attach your poster to something more rigid, we will provide one foam-core backing per team, including learn-along teams. We will also provide easels for your posters. If you are unable to change the size of your poster, please try to get as close as you can to 36 inches by 48 inches. 

Refer to page 7 of the Phases 2 and 3 Rules document for details on your poster.

We're looking forward to seeing you at CLEANPOWER in just a few weeks!

CWC 2024 Phase 2 Winners Announced!

Jan. 31, 2024, 2:25 p.m. PST by Tara McMurtry

Congratulations to the 12 collegiate teams who won Phase 2 of the 2024 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Collegiate Wind Competition!

These teams will receive a cash prize of up to $15,000 per team and will advance to the third and final phase of CWC 2024. Over the next few months, they will complete the wind turbine prototype design reports and wind farm site designs they started during Phase 2. They will also build and test their turbine prototypes and continue to build connections with the wind energy industry and their communities. Then, this spring, they will attend the CWC 2024 final event, which will be held in conjunction with the American Clean Power Association’s CLEANPOWER Conference and Exhibition in Minneapolis.

Read the announcement from DOE's Wind Energy Technologies Office to find out which teams won Phase 2 of CWC 2024. 

Best of luck, teams! We can’t wait to see you present your work at the final event this spring! 

Share Your CWC Photos and Footage With Us!

Jan. 11, 2024, 2:17 p.m. PST by Tara McMurtry

Happy New Year, CWC Teams!

We need your help! We are developing a short video to promote the CWC25 application period, which will open in a few months. We'd love to include in this video any photos or footage you have captured of your CWC activities so far--especially photos or footage of the following:

  • Community outreach
  • Presentations at elementary schools
  • Studying the environmental impact of wind energy
  • Visiting wind farms
  • Meeting with wind energy professionals

If you have captured this type of imagery, please upload it to this folder by Friday, January 26. This request is entirely optional, but it will help us tremendously if you can contribute. Thanks!

CWC 2024 Teams: Remember To Check the HeroX Forum Tab!

Oct. 20, 2023, 11:09 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenges

The Collegiate Wind Competition organizers would like to remind all CWC 2024 teams that important questions and discussions about the 2024 competition—including clarification of and updates to the rules document—can be found in the HeroX Forum tab. If you have a question, please check the Forum tab to see if it has already been answered. If you have a new question, we also encourage you to post it in the Forum tab so other teams with the same question will be able to see it. Finally, be sure to check the Forum tab regularly—you might learn something you didn't even know you needed to know!