In order to make our country safer, President Donald Trump has promised to build a wall along our country’s southern border. Opponents of the wall, however, argue that it is not worth the cost and that people will still be able to sneak into our country regardless of whether or not there’s a wall. They claim that they would rather spend the money on green energy. To compromise, Trump proposed attaching solar panels to the wall to make both parties happy.
Although some believe that Trump was merely joking when he made his comments about building a solar wall, the person overseeing the construction of several border wall prototypes recently confirmed that the idea “isn’t off the table.”
Specifically, while speaking to reporters earlier this week, the Field Office Division Chief for the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency’s San Diego field office, Mario Villarreal, who is currently in charge of overseeing the construction of eight prototype border walls being built by six different companies near San Diego, California, stated, “solar panels or technology bundles on top of the fence certainly isn’t [sic] off the table.”
To clarify, he mentioned that they are looking to see just how creative the builders can be with their prototypes. “We’re excited to see the industry come up with new, innovative, and creative ideas in the form of border wall prototypes,” explained Villarreal.
“We’re certainly looking for different methods and ways to make this better…Anti-climbing will be key, as well as the durability [and] sustainability of the prototypes,” he continued, noting, “we’ve had various types [of barriers] along the border for decades. To finally partner with an industry to get their creativity and ideas, it’s certainly refreshing.”
President Trump first announced that the planned border wall may include solar panels back in June. “We’re thinking of something that’s unique, we’re talking about the southern border, lots of sun, lots of heat. We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself. And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good, right?” explained Trump while speaking at a rally in Iowa.
“A solar wall – it makes sense, let’s see, we’re working it out, we’ll see. Solar wall, panels, beautiful. I mean actually, think of it, the higher it goes, the more valuable it is,” he added.
Since Trump’s comments about a solar wall, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) awarded eight contracts to six vendors, giving them each one month to construct a 30-foot prototype. The six vendors are Caddell Construction of Montgomery, Alabama.; Fisher Industries of Tempe, Arizona.; KWR Construction Inc. of Sierra Vista, Arizona; Texas Sterling Construction Co. of Houston, Texas; W.G. Yates & Sons Construction of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.; and ELTA North America Inc. of Annapolis Junction, Maryland.
Their proposals are due October 26th. Once a design is chosen, the vendor will then subsequently receive a multi-million dollar contract to extend their design across the border. According to reports, the contract awarded could be as much as $300 million.
Hopefully, the border wall that’s eventually chosen has solar panels attached. Doing so could help reduce carbon emissions, power numerous U.S. cities, and secure our border, all while basically paying for itself.