A biomass power station that will provide enough electricity for all the homes in Northumberland has been given the green light.
The Government said it had granted planning permission for North Blyth Energy Ltd to construct a 100MW power station which will use wood-based fuel at Blyth Harbour.
It is estimated that the project will produce enough renewable energy to meet the electricity demand of as many as 170,000 homes a year – the equivalent of all the homes in Northumberland.
A Department of Energy and Climate Change spokesman said: "Sustainably sourced biomass has an important role to play as part of a balanced energy mix, enhancing energy security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If constructed, this development will help bring jobs and growth to the local economy."
Construction of the £250m plant is set to begin in 2014 and take around two and a half years, according to renewable energy company RES, which is behind the development.
It is RES's first biomass plant, with the company having developed a number of onshore and offshore wind projects and solar energy schemes.
RES project manager Chris Lawson states: "We are delighted by the Government's decision to grant permission for North Blyth Power Station, which we believe will play an important part in the strong and growing renewable energy industry in South East Northumberland.
"It is also a welcome confirmation of the Government's support for sustainable, low carbon energy projects which will make a significant contribution towards meeting the UK's legally binding 2020 renewable energy targets.
"We now look forward to taking the project forward to construction and to kick starting this multimillion-pound investment in the Blyth Estuary area."
Biomass plants, which uses forestry leftovers, products from sawmills, wood that would otherwise go to landfill and crops grown specifically for burning, is controversial with green groups over their carbon emissions and the added pressure put on forests and land.