While campaigning on a variety of polemical policy issues, none has attracted more of the attention of the nation and the media than President Trump's pledge to build a wall on America's southern border with Mexico. Quite candidly, the President has said that the express purpose of the construction of the wall is to stem the tide of vast illegal immigration.
In his terse verbiage, President Trump has promised that not only would the wall be built but has assured a cash strapped nation that the hard working taxpayer would most definitely not be picking up the tab. He has insisted that Mexico would cover the exorbitant costs of such a mammoth project, despite the fact that Mexico has categorically stated that it has absolutely no intention of doing so.
Subsequent to President Trump's address at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in late February in which he told attendees that construction on a border wall "was moving quickly", the Department of Homeland Security posted a call for bids to "build the wall."
DHS has said that the first round of submissions should be for “several prototypes of wall structures” in the “vicinity of the United States border with Mexico.” These prototypes will, likely, go on to provide real-life feedback of how a border wall would work, or whether it would function at all—as well as provide a blueprint for the final border wall Trump promised during his campaign.
In addition, DHS has said that it will focus initial construction efforts on several areas where a border fence exists, but “where the fence or old brittle landing-mat fencing are no longer effective.” Target cities include El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Ariz.; and El Centro, Calif.
Bidders will likely have to create their “wall prototypes” in those cities. They’ll also have to use American steel and raw materials, according to the memo, and first phase of construction will begin in September.
Since that time the DHS has been deluged with a diverse array of bids from a panoply of architectural and engineering firms, but none has piqued the curiosity of the public more than the unique concept of constructing an energy efficient and self sustaining structure.
According to Anthony Morali, co‐founder and CEO of Renewable Energy Development (RED) in New York, building a solar paneled wall would "cost the government zero dollars, would employ 10,000 people, both long and short term, and the equipment and materials used in building it will be manufactured in the United States."
He said his vision of a border wall consisted of solar panels spanning across 2000 miles across Arizona, Nevada and California. The design can be modified, he said, by either placing the panels on the side of the wall or a canopy structure that stems off the top of the wall.
"Our philosophy is that the wall be 100% renewable and sustainable, first and foremost. That can be achieved through allowing a joint effort with different countries,” said Morali.
He added that rather than viewing the wall as a symbol of separation, "it can represent unity by providing the same solar energy to both sides of the border. He feels that as a result it will be "a symbol of a more collaborative future with our southern neighbors."
He added that "not only would the wall continue to protect our border, but it would be a project that would create a significant amount of jobs as well as providing renewable energy on a global scale."
When queried on the precise specifications of constructing a viable solar wall, Mr. Morali offered details in layman’s terms. He said that 15 million solar panels with 300KW capacity each would be needed in the building of a pre-fabricated modular “tilt-up” steel frame. It would produce more than three Giga-watts of electricity, making it the largest solar power plant in the world.
He also added that the fusion Solar Smart Energy War will include PV Technology with internet and info technology. Moreover, he said that through the use of Smart PV Technology 24/7 energy will be used with an organic based lithium-ion battery management system.
Mr. Morali said that each panel will be equipped with its own micro-inverter and sensor along the 2000 miles and micro sensors will be able to detect all horizontal, vertical and below grade movements.
“Actually the border can be a simple relay strip interacting with the smart wall similar to a futuristic force shield, “ he said. “The internal ideal location for a PV Wall is this part on the region which has an average of (11 sun hours per day, 365 days per year). Thereby making it one of the best places in the world for solar power.”
In terms of total cost for such an elaborate project, Mr. Morali offered a ballpark figure of $25 billion, and an approximate cost of $9 billion for infrastructure.
He said: “We have financing and syndicated funds which fund the project. There is always a need for energy. The Smart Wall would create 1.5 billion dollars in electric revenue per year, to compensate for its cost. The Wall will cost approximately $2,500 per linear feet ($25 billion dollars). This cost may be compensated by electricity produced and by established financial government programs in relationship to carbon tax credits.”
Mr. Morali also noted that the wall is created by integrating 15 million American‐made solar panels and a lithium ion battery back-up system.
Expressing his confidence that hedge funds are more than willing to finance the wall in its totality, Mr. Morali added that there may be a program to create cultural space in each of the towers along the wall.
His plans include 200 interconnected towers which will be installed at 10 mile intervals. Each tower be part of a corporate sponsorship with cultural and museum spaces that identify the history of all the states.
Vincenzo Grasso, a partner and associate of Mr. Morali told the Jewish Voice that “hedge funds love to invest in clean energy production. We already have many interested parties in the project but we can’t disclose their names.”
Countering the often times visceral opposition to the construction of a border wall that is espoused by Trump detractors, immigrant rights groups and others, Mr. Grasso said that the regulation that is conducted at the border “is not an invention of President Trump. Nations have borders and every nation has to protect them. It is not about whether to decide to be pro or anti-Trump. It is a matter of being in favor of upholding the rule of law or being in favor or violating it.”
Mr. Grasso added that, “We want exchange with Mexico; we want to regulate the migrants; we would like to know who is coming in from Mexico and what is coming from Mexico, The United States only wants to control the border so it can operate more efficiently.”
Having spoken with a large cross section of individuals who consider themselves opposed to President Trump’s policies, Mr. Grasso said that these people often adopt a very different stance upon seeing a rendering of the wall. He said that people speculate that “If President Trump will build this wall, he will be remembered as the best president ever.”
By: Dan Posnansky