Donald Trump was heard to suggest the use of solar panels to repay the cost of building an anti-immigrant wall with Mexico in a conversation with congressional leaders, according to CNN citing sources familiar with the matter.
According to the article, Trump had a meeting with House Speaker Paul Ryan, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Whip Steve Scalise and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Whip John Cornyn.
The border wall is expected to cost around $22 billion and to take roughly 3.5 years to build, according to Reuters citing a U.S. Department of Homeland Security internal report. That income from solar plants installed at the wall – or close to it – may refinance this huge expense or even a significant part of it seems very unlikely, and the use of solar energy is probably aimed at creating more acceptance for and infrastructure project widely seen as useless and difficult to finance.
The idea of installing solar plants at the wall is not new. One of the recent proposal for building the president’s barrier, submitted by the Las Vegas company Gleason LLC, included the installation of a 2 MW solar array. According to the company’s proposal, the use of solar power was limited to the wall’s lighting, sensors and patrol stations. Gleason’s proposal also said the 2 MW system would sell excess power to utilities, which would cover the cost of its construction in 20 years or less.