A “big, beautiful” wall between the US and Mexico is coming soon and could produce clean energy, the president stated Wednesday.
Speaking at a rally in Iowa, President Trump reiterated his plan to build a southern border wall and proposed incorporating solar panels in order to lower the structure’s cost.
“Yes we will build the wall, we’ve already started planning. It will be built,” the president told the Cedar Rapids crowd to tremendous applause.
“I’ll give you an idea that nobody has heard about yet and – I’m not sure, but I’m a builder, that’s what I love to do, that’s probably what I do best – and we’re thinking of something that’s unique – we’re talking about the southern border, lots of sun, lots of heat – we’re thinking of building the wall as a solar wall so that it creates energy and pays for itself.”
The president has long insisted Mexico would ultimately end up paying for the wall, and he argued adding solar panels could help decrease the nation’s burden.
“This way Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good, right?” Trump said.
It’s been estimated the wall could cost anywhere between $12 to $70 billion, though the DHS has put the cost at $21.6 billion.
“I mean actually think of it: the higher it goes, the more valuable it is,” Trump added jokingly.
Axios reported earlier this month that Trump had discussed plans to add solar panels to the wall during a meeting with Republican leaders.
“Trump said his vision was a wall 40 feet to 50 feet high and covered with solar panels so they’d be ‘beautiful structures,’ the people said. The President said that most walls you hear about are 14 feet or 15 feet tall but this would be nothing like those walls,” reported Jonathan Swan.
In April, as many as 450 companies submitted designs to be considered for the 2,000 mile wall, which would stretch from Texas through New Mexico all the way to California.
Among the proposals is a solar wall design concept from Gleason Partners, which would cost around $6 million per mile.
The Trump administration is expected to announce design finalists over the summer, including four to eight prototypes that will be built in San Diego, according to Breitbart.