BEIJING (Commodity Online) : China on Thursday inaugurated Asia's largest solar power plant with a designed installed capacity totalling 166 megawatts.

The power plant located at Kunming, capital of Yunnan province went into operation in the first stage with installed capacity of 20 MW.

The plant, which started construction in December 2008 and involves total investment of RMB 9 billion, is jointly built by Huaneng Shilin Photovoltaic Energy Development Co Ltd and a subsidiary of Yunnan Provincial Power Investment Co Ltd.

The solar power plant, which will be entirely completed in 2015, is designed to generate 195 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, reducing 175,000 tons of carbon dioxide emission.

China's Yunnan Province is abundant in solar power all the year round, which is one of the principal reasons to build the plant here, experts said.

The province's maximum installed capacity in solar power units is expected to exceed 150 million kW in total, and in Kunming it has more than 2,400 hours of sunshine per day on average, they said.