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.
President Trump, on the other hand, has also dismissed solar as unreliable and unworkable, as well as having removed any reference to solar from the White House website.
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.
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Great idea to put solar PV on ‘the wall’, but solar panels must face south, ie into Mexico, I hope the folk to the south won’t be tempted to swap pinata bashing for PV panel shooting, the wafers that make up each individual panel look remarkably like 6″ square targets after all!
The United States currently purchases 13 gigawatts of power from Canada. Any Green source of power is a plus to getting cleaner air and off any foreign interdependent. Not to mention the economic development that will be created in the southern United States with clean cheap renewable energy!
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