SANTIAGO, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chilean authorities on Monday inaugurated the first phase of an ambitious solar-powered complex in the northern Atacama desert, marking a significant step towards boosting the country's renewable energy output.
When completed, the Cerro Dominador complex will feature a 100 megawatt (MW) solar power plant and a 110 MW solar thermal power plant, Latin America's first, the daily La Nacion reported.
At a ceremony attended by Energy Minister Andres rebolledo and other national, regional and local authorities, the first 62 MW of the solar plant were connected to the national electricity grid.
"We are very proud of having completed the first phase of this project, which is synonymous with sustainable development," the project's CEO, Fernando Gonzalez, said.
"We estimate the solar plant will be fully operational by the end of 2017 and the thermosolar plant, during 2019," Gonzalez added.
The two plants are complementary in that together they can generate energy 24 hours a day, according to the daily.
The complex covers some one thousand hectares of land in north Chile's sun-drenched desert.
Chile's goal is to have 20 percent of its electricity output derive from renewable sources by 2025.