Make America Green Again: Vegas firm proposes solar panel solution to Trump’s border wall
04/13/2017 // JD Heyes // Views

Though far too many Americans are enamored with the socialism of Sen. Bernie Sanders and our European brethren, one of the things that has always contributed to the wild success of the United States is our free-market economic model.

The system we have today is more like crony capitalism, which is based on close cooperation between industry, business and government officials. Nevertheless, elements of our capitalist founding remain and that’s good because capitalism and free markets breed competition, creativity and innovation.

Which, in turn, breeds fantastic ideas, like the one proposed by Las Vegas firm Gleason Partners LLC, one of the dozens of companies who have submitted bids to the government to help build President Donald J. Trump’s promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The idea? Install solar panels all along the wall’s length, so that even if Mexico winds up not paying for the wall, it will pay for itself. (RELATED: Solar panel farm grows 17,000 tons of food without soil, pesticides, fossil fuels or groundwater)

As reported by Lifezette, the panels would generate ample power to supply the needs of the Department of Homeland Security’s border operations, and even have plenty left over to sell on the open market.

“I envision it as a way they can have a revenue source and help pay for the maintenance of the wall and all the surveillance equipment to protect it,” Tom Gleason, a managing partner at the firm, told the website. “You have to have security for the security, so to speak… It’s going to be a boost to the economy and pay for itself if it's done right.”


An artist’s rendering of the proposal depicts a “wall” of panels and concrete base.

(Image: Gleason Partners, LLC)

At present at least 200 firms have shown an interest in building the wall, which has become controversial both in the United States and in Mexico. The deadline for submitting bids was April 4. The Associated Press, quoting sources within government, noted that the Trump White House believes somewhere between four and 10 companies will be selected to build prototypes of the wall that will cost between $200,000 - $500,000 apiece.

However, it is not at all clear that the wall will ever be built. As The National Sentinel reported, Democrats are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans include a $1 billion wall funding request by the Trump administration in a budget that would begin construction of the barrier, which would complete existing barriers that are currently in place in various regions along the border.

In reality, this shouldn’t even be an issue and, were it not for Democrats, there would already be a border barrier. In 2006, the GOP-controlled Congress passed, and President George W. Bush signed, legislation calling for a two-tiered fence to be built along a particularly porous 700-mile stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border. “The Secure Fence Act of 2006” “will help protect the American people,” Bush said, adding it would “make our borders more secure” and become “an important step toward immigration reform.”

After Democrats took over Congress in 2007, they defunded the legislation (with the help of a Republican senator, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas).

Now, the issue seems to be money.

“The big chunk of money for the wall, really is … next fiscal year’s appropriations, because they literally can’t start construction even this quickly,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told “CBS This Morning” recently.

We’ll see. We know that the Border Patrol isn’t happy with Ryan’s proposed delay.

“President Trump promised he was going to secure the border, and part of securing the border is putting in place the proper technology and resources that allows us to be successful,” National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judge told Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” this week, Lifezette reported. “And a border wall in strategic locations is one of those things that must get done.”

For his part, Gleason would love to see his 30 ft. tall design – which he estimated would cost between $6 million - $7.5 million per mile to build– selected by the White House. (RELATED: Solar roadway panels - a solution for our economic, energy and environmental troubles?)

“It has a lot of potential,” he told Lifezette, adding that the solar panels would last for at least 25 years.

And “in a way,” he added, “Mexico’s going to pay for the wall, because the sun’s coming from south of the border.”

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.


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