U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will be on hand for the groundbreaking of a $795 million biomass facility at the Savannah River Site near Augusta.
The plant will generate electricity and steam to power operations at SRS by burning more than 300 tons of wood products and shredded tires each year.
Officials with the Department of Energy say the new facility will create fewer emissions than the coal-fired plant it is replacing.
According to the DOE the biomass plant will save $34 million a year in energy, operation and maintenance costs. It will also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 100,000 tons a year.
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham will also attend the groundbreaking ceremony.
The new facility will be one of the largest biomass plants in the country.