The energy ministry said on Monday it had approved a 1,500 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant in North Doncaster, as well as Scottish utility SSE's 108-MW biomass and waste power plant at Ferrybridge.

The gas-fired power plant, proposed by U.S.-based Acorn Energy, will be built on the site of an old coal-fired plant at Thorpe Marsh which was shut down in 1994.

SSE plans to complete its new combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Ferrybridge in early 2015 and will fuel it with biomass, waste-derived fuels and waste wood.

This multi-fuel CHP plant will be an innovative addition to our generating portfolio and will make an important contribution to ensuring secure energy supplies, said Rhys Stanwix, SSE's director of thermal development.

The project will be located on the site of SSE's existing Ferrybridge coal-fired power station which will shut down before 2016 and where the utility is also trailing carbon capture and storage technology with partners Doosan Power Systems and Vattenfall.

Today we give the green light to two power plants in the north of England, Prime Minister David Cameron wrote in the Financial Times on Monday, stating how the government is strengthening the competitiveness of the UK economy.

The one billion pound gas-fired power plant and SSE's 250 million pound project are expected to create over 1,000 jobs during construction, the ministry said.

More than 8 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired power capacity will shut down in Britain before 2016 under an EU-wide directive which imposes limits on climate harming emissions.

New power plants to replace the loss in capacity need to quickly receive state approval to start construction in time for the planned closures.

The ministry last month approved the construction of a new biomass power plant in Wales and two weeks ago increased state subsidies for renewable energy sources such as marine and biomass.

(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Jason Neely)