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

SSE has proposed to fuel its new combined heat and power (CHP) plant at Ferrybridge with biomass, waste-derived fuels and waste wood on the site of its existing coal-fired power station which will shut down before 2016.

These decisions are a further example of our determination to clear the back-log of planning applications, to stimulate growth and enhance our energy security, said Energy Minister Charles Hendry.

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 for climate harming emissions.

This means 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)