Utility company Duke Energy Corp said it agreed to develop commercial solar power projects in the United States with ENN Group, a private Chinese energy company.

The two companies will concentrate on two types of solar photovoltaic designs - large utility-scale solar farms and commercial distributed generation solar projects, Duke said.

Distributed generation refers to the concept of producing electricity very close to where it is used.

The company said Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS), its commercial business unit, will team with ENN to develop, own and operate the solar projects.

The joint development agreement expands DEGS' existing investments in renewable energy - including wind and biopower - and commercial transmission, the company said.

DEGS owns and operates more than 630 megawatts (MW) of wind power projects in the U.S. and plans to add another 350 MW by the end of 2010, said Duke, the third-largest U.S. electricity company by power sales.

Shares of Duke closed at $16.19 Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Arundhati Ramanathan in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)