Nicaraguan authorities inaugurated the country's first photovoltaic park, a 1 MW solar facility that could supply electricity to more than 1,000 homes.

Energy and Mines Minister Emilio Rappaccioli and the CEO of state electric utility Enatrel, Salvador Mansell, inaugurated the plant, which is located some 59 kilometers (36 miles) south of Managua in Carazo province.

The solar farm "is a pioneer of its type in Central America," is made up of 5,880 photovoltaic solar panels and has a generating capacity greater than 1 MW, Mansell told reporters Thursday.

"At maximum output it could meet the needs of 1,100 homes, with estimated monthly consumption of 150 kilowatt-hours" per household, the executive said.

Electricity sector authorities said a total of $11.9 million was invested in the project, $11.4 million of which came from a Japanese government donation and the rest out of the Nicaraguan Treasury.

The solar farm will supply 1,980 megawatt-hours to the national electricity grid and displace 1,100 tons of carbon dioxide, equivalent to planting 2.8 square kilometers (1.08 square miles) of forest, Mansell said.

Japan's ambassador to Nicaragua, Masaharu Sato, attended the inauguration ceremony. EFE