The 26-year-old, who found the net 16 times for the Gulls last season, will be tasked with replacing the goals of former Brewers duo Calvin Zola and Jacques Maghoma, who both left the Pirelli Stadium on free transfers earlier this summer.
Burton manager Gary Rowett told Derbysport: "Rene is one that I've tried to stay in the loop about and I'd intensified my interest in the last two weeks.
"He had offers from Scotland, two from League One and I think at least one from the Championship, so it has been a real battle to get him and I'm really pleased that we have convinced him this is the place to come if he wants to further his career.
"I think he's a perfect striker for this division. He's big, he scores goals and he's a clever player, too."
Burton, who lost out to Bradford City in the playoff semi-finals last season, will begin the new campaign with a trip to Cheltenham Town on Saturday, August 3.