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Biggest English Polluter Spends $1 Billion to Burn Wood

More than two centuries after coal power helped forge the world’s first industrial economy, Britain is going back to burning wood.

Drax Group Plc will spend $1 billion to turn the U.K.’s biggest coal-fired plant into western Europe’s largest clean-energy producer. The utility plans to convert one of the site’s six units to burn wood pellets by June, said Chief Executive Officer Dorothy Thompson. It intends to switch two more units to wood at a later date, investments that if completed will see it harvest a forest four times the size of Rhode Island each year.