As one of the nation’s largest power providers, Duke Energy has invested large sums in whirring turbines and high tech solar projects.

On Monday it announced a new excrement-to-energy project that could provide power to about 10,000 homes a year.

Duke has agreed to buy the energy produced from a planned Carbon Cycle Energy plant in eastern North Carolina that will take methane from pig and chicken waste and send it to four Duke plants.

Under North Carolina’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, Duke must meet specific compliance targets for swine and poultry waste. The Charlotte-based utility is already buying electricity generated from other facilities in the state.

“We are pleased to partner with Carbon Cycle Energy to help meet our compliance objectives,” David Fountain, Duke’s North Carolina president, said in a statement. “The gas from this project will generate carbon-neutral electricity compared to the emissions that would result if the waste was left to decay naturally.”

Carbon Cycle Energy, which is based in Boulder, Colo., said the facility should up and running next year.

The captured methane will be treated, injected into a pipeline system and used at the Buck Steam Station in Rowan County, the Dan River Steam Station in Rockingham County, the H.F. Lee Station Combined Cycle Plant in Wayne County and the Sutton Combined Cycle Plant in New Hanover County.