Yesterday, Trump announced that he is considering making the border wall he promised, covered in solar panels.
At the beginning of the year, Customs and Border Patrol asked around 20 vendors for design proposals for Trump’s wall he wants to build along the Mexican border. Trump said he wanted the wall to be “physically imposing,” impossible to climb without any help as well as impenetrable to sledgehammers and battery operated tools for at least an hour. He also wanted it to be aesthetically pleasing on the U.S. side.
Some of the vendors publicly released their proposals, which include walls that were see-through, impenetrable, created out of mesh wire, a slippery wall pitched at a high angle where the guards would be stationed on top, as well as the solar wall.
The only one of those proposals that seem to be financially beneficial was the solar wall.
If solar panels are installed on the wall, it will cost more to build, but in the long run the wall will end up paying for itself with the money it saves. Although Trump originally promised Mexico would pay for the wall, that does not seem to be very realistic.
Tom Gleason, North Las Vegas Businessman, was the person who submitted the federal bid for the wall to be covered in solar panels. Gleason was apparently not surprised that his idea was getting national attention.
Many people are doubting if this concept would actually work or not. Earlier this year, Jigar Shah, co-founder of sustainable infrastructure financing firm General Capital Inc., crunched all of the numbers and claimed it would work.
If you make the wall 65 feet tall, Gleason explained, you would be able to fit five rows of solar panels that run the entire length of the wall, which would generate about $396 million a year. That means it would generate over $15.8 billion in a 40-year life span.
The design is estimated to cost anywhere from $6.5 million to $7.5 million per mile. The wall that Trump wants to build around the border would stretch 2,000 miles, which would cost around $13 billion to build using the solar panels.
The plan for the design would be for a solar grid to be integrated into the infrastructure of the wall. The electricity would go towards lights, sensors, nearby law enforcement stations, and the rest of the energy would go towards border towns.
Gleason claims the abundant amount of electricity would lead to a development and economic boom on both sides of the wall. People would move closer to the wall for farming and other business hubs.
Nowadays, there are not many places where you can put large amounts of solar panels, if Trump does decide to build the wall, the solar panel idea would make this large infrastructure much more attractive to people who did not originally approve of the idea.
In May, Customs and Border Patrol asked less than 20 vendors for possible design proposals for Trump’s wall he wants to build on the Mexican border. Trump said he wanted the wall to be “physically imposing,” impossible to climb without any help as well as impenetrable to sledgehammers and battery operated tools for at least an hour. He also wanted it to be Aesthetically pleasing on the U.S. side.