The tech giant made the announcement at the El Romero plant, which covers an area of 1.5 million sq. meters (16.1 million sq. feet), equivalent to 211 soccer fields.
Built and operated by Spanish conglomerate Acciona, the plant in the municipality of Vallenar, 660 kilometres (410 miles) from Santiago, is the largest of its kind in Latin America.
“The project was a success. We only took 13 months: we began in October 2015 and connected it to the grid in November 2016. Now it produces enough clean energy for 240,000 homes,” the head of construction at El Romero, Hernan Salazar, told EFE.
A total of 776,000 aluminium solar panels have been installed in the Chilean desert, “the place with the highest level of solar radiation on Earth,” Salazar said.
The plant, which currently employs 20 workers but had provided employment to more than 900 people during the construction phase, will supply energy to Google’s Chilean subsidiary and especially to its data centre in Quilicura.
That facility is one of just two Google data centres worldwide that are powered by solar energy, with the others getting their electricity from wind farms.