£6.5m bio-energy station to be build in Staffordshire.

Britain’s first grass-burning power station is to be built near Stafford. Construction on the £6.5m bio-energy station in Eccleshall will begin later this year; when fully operational, it will supply power to 2000 homes.

The power station will run on a perennial woody grass called Miscanthus – also known as elephant grass – which grows in Africa. It will run 24 hours a day, and will produce approximately one tonne of carbon dioxide an hour less than an equivalent fossil-fuel powered generator.

A company spokesman said that emissions would be far lower than the regulatory requirements, and that there would be no visible steam or odour from the plant.

Amanda Gray, director of Eccleshall Biomass Ltd, said: “Energy crops offer a genuinely sustainable and environment-friendly alternative source of business to farmers as well as helping to meet our obligations in reducing carbon emissions.”

Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands has approved a £935,000 grant to Eccleshall Biomass towards the cost of the plant's construction.