The biggest coal-fired power station in the UK is believed to be the first to use willow trees as renewable energy.
Drax will burn willow coppice mixed with coal
Material from a large willow coppice will be made into fuel which can be added to coal streams at the Drax power plant near Selby.
The test represents a big step in creating a sustainable biomass fuel industry across the country.
The trees had originally been for the Arbre project, a commercial wood-fired power station at nearby Eggborough.
But the scheme to use the trees at Eggborough collapsed when the original company behind the idea went into liquidation.
Now the trees will be processed by a specialist firm near York.
Energy minister Stephen Timms said: "The announcement is excellent news not only for the region, but also for the environment."