The combined-cycle power plant will be located on the site of the former Willington A and B power stations, which closed in the 1990s.

The facility will include up to four CCGT units, each around 500MW in capacity, and four open-cycle gas turbine generating units with a combined capacity of 400MW.

The UK energy minister Charles Hendry said that the Willington plant will play an important role in providing secure electricity supplies to millions of homes, as well as bringing jobs and investment to South Derbyshire.

"This station will be built carbon capture ready, which means that eventually CO2 emissions from the plant could be captured and transported for storage offshore," Hendry said.

Construction of the new power station will take about three years.