The 46,200 sq ft facility off Green Lane will provide a standby supply of gas-powered electricity to the National Grid to prevent blackouts.
The facility, which is being developed by Warrington-based electricity provider Done Energy, won approval from Wigan Council this month.
The site, on the banks of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, was chosen as it has a pre-existing gas connection as a former gas holder, and due to its proximity to a nearby National Grid substation.
Sometimes, when the source of electrical power transfers from fossil fuels to renewable energy, a temporary dip in the electricity supply can occur.
At the Green Lane site, natural gas will be burned when required, to plug the gaps in the National Grid’s electricity supply.
So as not to waste energy, the facility can be turned on or off as required and its usage will not exceed 2,500 hours a year.
Gas standby engines will be installed on the site along with associated infrastructure, including oil stores and transformers.
It will take between six and nine months to build the facility, according to environmental consultant Enzygo.