WASHINGTON – Progress Energy, an electric utility based in Raleigh, N.C., has signed a contract to purchase the energy output from a 36-megawatt generating plant fired by poultry litter. The plant will be owned and operated by Poultry Power USA, a subsidiary of Green Frontiers Energy, according to the National Chicken Council.

The plant will be built in Biscoe, N.C., and is scheduled to begin operation in early 2013, according to officials with Progress Energy. Poultry Power USA estimates the project will be an investment of $125 million and bring about 100 direct and indirect jobs to the area. The plant will use 350,000 tons of poultry litter per year, the sponsors said.

The plant will help Progress Energy meet its obligation under a North Carolina law adopted in 2007 which requires that utilities in the state must provide a total of 900,000 megawatt-hours per year from poultry waste beginning in 2014, the company said.

Terms of the deal with Green Frontiers were not disclosed. Green Frontiers was co-founded by Hugh H. Connerty Jr., the founder of Longhorn Steakhouse and Hooters of America restaurants, and Scott DeSano, a former senior vice president of Fidelity Investments.