There are many companies who already have started making assumptions on how much power Trump’s wall is going to generate. On June 6, 2017, in a meeting with Republican Congressional leaders, President Trump decided to cover his wall with the solar plates. Idea is that the generated electricity by the wall is going to be used as the pay for its construction, as per the report by Axios.
Power generated by the wall built depends on its height, area, array size and the wall itself. The wall is not built completely yet but still some of the construction company have started to make some assumption how much power it is going to generate.
• A solar border wall would generate approximately 7.28 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity each day (2,657.2 GWh annually), according to one solar installation firm
• Other estimates reach as high as 8,431 GWh annually
• The electricity production would be worth approximately $106 million per year
• Not considering the multi-billion-dollar construction cost of the wall itself, the solar array installation could cost between $1.4 billion and $4.2 billion
Elemental Energy told if the wall is covered with the 10 feet high solar panels will generate 7.28 GWh each day. Elementals co-owner, John Grieser, done math for it like this:
The wall will be mounted with the panel that will not track the sun. That is going to be an expensive decision for the President. Grieser said each panel would feature 72 solar panel with 78 inch of height.US have 3200 km of border at four state and half of it at unobstructed land. It was just a late night napkin calculation for him.
Calculation of Solar Power’s Costs
Convert the whole length of wall into inches that gives 63.36 million inches. Each panel is 78 inches high so total column of panel are 812,308. Typically, fixed array have 5 row at 30 degree tilt. So this gives you 4.061,538 number of panels. Now since a 72 cell module produces 350 watts then you end up with 1.4 GW of power that is enough to power 220,000 average-size homes annually.
Now because US-Mexico border is very sunny so even at 80% of efficiency 7.28 GWh daily. This much whole power is worth over $106 million per year. This amount is calculated as per PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) at $40/MWh.
Grieser said, “I don’t support a wall, but if it has to be built. It’s completely out of my control and influence. We might as well put some solar panels on it.”
As Trump said it will pay up the cost of wall but Mexico do not seem satisfied with this plan. US Department of Energy said that solar array without tracker will cost $1/ watt by 2020. But MIT technology review note says that other expanses. There is no talk of transmission cable, maintenance, system software are not included in it. So a solar array of 1.4 GWh with installation cost of $1.4 billion and $3/W, will cost $4.2 billion.
All these estimation do not include any of the wall construction and maintenance. Some other analyst says that will reach to $10 billion to $2 trillion. Homeland Security’s estimation goes to 21.6 billion but with $106 million per year of power it will take decades to cover all sums.
Courtesy: Business Insider