June 22 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump suggested installing solar panels on his proposed wall along the Mexico border during a rally in Iowa.
Trump made the comment during a trip to Cedar Rapids where he also discussed improving Internet connectivity in rural areas as part of an infrastructure effort.
The U.S. president proposed a "solar wall" would help provide inexpensive energy and help pay for itself.
"We're thinking of something that's unique, we're talking about the southern border, lots of sun, lots of heat. We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself," Trump told the crowd. "And this way, Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that's good, right?"
Companies have submitted designs for the wall that include solar panels. The Department of Homeland Security has shortlisted 20 companies for their designs for the wall.
"Solar wall, panels, beautiful. I mean actually think of it, the higher it goes the more valuable it is. Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea," Trump said.
Shortly after taking office, Trump signed an executive order calling for a "physical wall along the southern border" but the order did not include details on construction or how it would be funded.
Another proposed method to pay for the border wall is Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's "El Chapo Act," a bill that would use the estimated $14 billion in assets owned by Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán to build a border wall.