Duke Energy, a North Carolina-headquartered power company with service territories in several U.S. states, has received approval from the North Carolina Utilities Commission to build up to 400 electricity-generating "mini solar plants" throughout North Carolina. The company says it plans to invest approximately $50 million to install solar panels on the roofs and grounds of homes, schools, office buildings, shopping malls, warehouses, and industrial plants, creating a system that will collectively generate and distribute enough electricity to power 1,300 homes. The electricity will flow directly from the solar sites to the electrical grid that serves all customers. "We believe the future is a low-carbon world," says Jim Rogers, Duke Energy's CEO. "The 21st century mission of our company is to decarbonize our energy supply and provide universal access to energy efficiency." Duke Energy will own and maintain the solar panels during their expected 25-year lifespan, and will own the electricity generated by the panels. It will pay property owners who host the panels on their roofs or land a rental fee, based on how much electricity is generated at each given site. The company says it will begin installing the panels later this year and plans to have the system fully operational within two years.