Solar Wall at US – Mexico Border, is it environment-friendly?

The Mexico side of Trump’s proposed solar wall with Mexico.

Trump’s proposed solar-paneled US-Mexico border, displaying a  cross-section of the Mexico side. Photo Credit: Gleason Partners LLC.

A border wall featured with pleasing aesthetics and powered by sunlight is the newfound idea of President Donald Trump. President Trump shared his vision at a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on a US-Mexico border wall of 40 to 50 feet in height and covered with solar panels. The President said that they were thinking of building the solar wall so that it produces energy and pays for itself, and Mexico would have to pay much less money.

It is reported that around 400 companies submitted designs to the Department of Border Protections for the 2,000-mile wall. There was a range of designs from futuristic to humorous. Were there any specifications for the request for proposals? The wall design had specifications like being physically imposing and the north side of the wall that is U.S. facing side to be aesthetically pleasing. The call for papers apparently did not have any solar energy requirements and the most visible proposal was from Gleason Partners, LLC of Las Vegas.

The design by Gleason included a base wall being precast with concrete to give stability and the next eight-feet made of tight mesh fencing to avoid any climbing. The wall’s feature included a solar curtain wall from eight-feet to 24-feet and a solar actuator connected to a 20-feet solar panel at the top of the wall. The U.S. side of the wall would have vertical solar panels concealed with aircraft-grade aluminium. The wall is reported to produce 2-megawatts, which is enough to power around 1000 homes.

Aaron Flesch, a biologist at the University of Arizona who studied wildlife on the borderlands between the U.S. and Mexico said that the wall would hurt animals like the pygmy owl, jaguars, pronghorn, and ocelots. The idea’s environmental-aspect is reportedly still being deliberated by experts.

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