I have a solution to our current partisan divide. With the government narrowly avoiding another shutdown again over the border wall, and new comer Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposing a Green New Deal, why not combine the two?
Since a border wall would require significant infrastructure in the form of access roads, easements, and property acquisition, why not just add solar panels to the top of the wall? Our southern border is one of the sunniest places in the US, perfect for photovoltaics. Bear with my back of the napkin calculations, but a standard 72-cell panel has a width of 39 inches, meaning one could fit 812,000 solar panels with a capacity of 276 MW of power in 500 miles of “barrier.” Add to this the potential for vertical wind turbines perched atop our wall and additional solar panels added to existing walls, and we’re talking serious power.
To follow this further, our solar installation/wall could be expected to occasionally produce extra energy which could then be sold to Mexico, fulfilling Trump’s ever elusive promise that Mexico would pay for the wall. With Iowa being a leader in renewable energy in the form of wind power, I would imagine this would be a proposal we could all support. It would be a win-win for everyone; the safety of a wall and gobs of renewable energy. A “Great, Big, Beautiful, GREEN, wall!”