Architect Will Alsop is to enhance his green credentials by designing a £250m biomass power station in East Anglia

The architect is working on plans for the renewable power plant in the centre of Norwich. It is thought that it will be the largest of its kind in the UK.

The development is being compared with the Eden project as a showcase for sustainability, and will include a visitor centre, as it is expected to attract thousands of people each year.

Alsop is working with Davis Langdon and the University of East Anglia, which is the client for the scheme. Trevor Davies, the vice-chancellor of the university, said Alsop was chosen because his designs would pull in the crowds.

He said: “We want it to be iconic and to attract people. It’s very important for it be visible. We want it to be a bit of fun.”

We want it to be a demonstration of what the future will look like

Trevor Davies, vice-chancellor

He added: “It has been likened to the Eden project but we want to go beyond that. We want it to be a greenhouse for the future – a demonstration of what future landscapes will look like.”

The power station might also be linked to homes and commercial properties to monitor their energy performance. Sensors would be installed in the homes and offices that would feed information back to a data centre.

Davies said the project team was finalising funding for a feasibility study to be carried out in the next five months. After that Alsop will complete the designs.

The idea for the power station originated from CRed, an environmental group in the east of England that has set itself a 60% carbon reduction target by 2025.