SANTIAGO, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- The solar power plant of El Romero Solar starts operation on Thursday, taking its place as Latin America's largest solar plant, with a maximum output of 246 Megawatts-peak (MWp).
The plant was built in just 13 months in the northern town of Vallenar by Spanish energy conglomerate, Acciona Energia.
The power plant contains 776,000 photovoltaic modules combining for a total solar energy reception surface of over 1.5 million square meters (around 211 football fields). It cost an approximate investment of 343 million U.S. dollars.
Located in the Atacama desert, the plant has been connected to the national grid, beginning a process lasting several weeks until it begins its commercial operation.
Once fully operational, El Romero Solar will produce around 500 GWh of clean energy a year, equivalent to the demand of 240,000 Chilean homes and avoid emissions of around 475,000 tons of CO2 from coal-fired power plants.
Jose Ignacio Escobar, Acciona Energia's general manager for Chile, said in a press release that he was satisfied about how the installation of the PV panels had proceeded and that the connection to the grid had only taken three months, two months quicker than originally planned.