The Co-operative Group has appointed a partner to build a renewable energy centre to provide power to its NOMA development on Miller Street in Manchester city centre.
Energy and utilities specialist Dalkia will build a Combined Heat and Power station at the £800m, 4m sq ft project covering 20 acres.
Ruairidh Jackson, development director of NOMA, said: "Given The Co-operative Group's commitment to sustainability, it is important that NOMA shows how green energy can be delivered at a commercial scale and a competitive price. We want occupiers to be able to share the benefits of a highly sustainable energy source without having to pay a premium to be green. This principle of 'value with values' has underpinned our business for years and is an essential part of NOMA's market leading position on commercial, environmental and social sustainability.
"The Co-operative is working with Dalkia on the plant, which will be powered by locally sourced waste wood that would have otherwise gone to landfill."
The Co-op said in March this year it was initiating talks with possible joint venture partners about participation in the 10-15 year development programme.
Ray Howell, managing director of Dalkia BioEnergy, added: "It is a giant step forward for the UK renewable energy and sustainable power sector when a development such as this takes the green option."
The project will contain offices, including the Co-op's own headquarters, due for completion in September 2012, as well as retail, residential and leisure space.
NOMA was revealed as the new name for the scheme four months ago, which was derived from north of Manchester and drawn up by London-based creative agency Landor.
The next phase of development as part of NOMA will be improvements to nearby road and utilities networks and the first phase of the district's public realm.