Derby City Council is hoping to build a small hydro-electric power plant to cut carbon emissions if planning permission is granted.
If it goes ahead, the plant would be built on the bank of the River Derwent, near the Council House.
The council plans to borrow the £1.5m to build the plant, which would create enough electricity within 20 years to cover its costs.
The council's cabinet is meeting on 18 December to discuss the project.
Councillor Dave Roberts, cabinet member for personnel, performance management and economic development, said: "We have committed to a 25% cut in our carbon dioxide emission and this would help us achieve that.
"By building this plant, we would be leading by example and I hope many Derby businesses would be inspired to introduce their own innovative measures to tackle climate change."
According to the plans, the plant would generate enough electricity per year to entirely power the Council House.