French renewables company Fonroche Energie has agreed a deal to build a 24MW solar plant in Kazakhstan as a forerunner to a possible 2GW project in the country.

The company’s Chief Executive Thierry Carcel told PV-Tech that the project would trial a number of different PV module and tracking technologies to establish which are most suited to local conditions.

The 24MW project is being run in conjunction with local agency Zhambyl Hydroenerglo and will be built near the city of Taraz in the south of the country, where solar resources are the best, Carcel said.

Carcel explained that the project would deploy various technologies, including high and low concentration PV, thin film and multi- and mono-crystalline modules. A variety of tracking technologies will also be trialled.

If the first phase of the project is successful, Carcel said he had a “gentleman’s agreement” with the Zhambyl region governor Yernur Dzhienbaev to build up to 2GW of solar.

“It could go up to 2GW if the project is successful, but it’s too soon to say that for certain,” he said.

Carcel said Kazakhstan was well suited to solar energy. “It has a very good temperature and very good sun in the south – more than in Puerto Rico, where we also operate,” he said.

Construction work on the pilot is due to begin next year.