Work could begin on the site in early 2012, if the Barton Renewable Energy Plant gains planning consent, creating 100 jobs over the two-year construction phase.
The wood-burning 20MW biomass plant will be built on land on the south side of the Manchester Ship Canal.
Peel Energy said the plant will provide enough energy to power around 37,000 homes and save up to 75,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year by replacing conventional energy plants.
Heat generated at the plant will supply local businesses at the Trafford Centre complex and at the nearby Trafford Park industrial estate and Port Salford.
Jon England, project director at Peel Energy, said: “Our venture into dedicated biomass-fired energy generation will contribute towards government targets for higher levels of renewable electricity generation and help provide secure energy supplies for the region.”