The "Saida Power Plant," a mega- (large-scale) solar power plant with an output of about 2.5MW, is in the mountains of Saida, Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan, near the foot of the Noto Peninsula (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: Saida Power Plant with an output of about 2.5MW located in Saida, Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture. (source: top Ise Foods, bottom Nikkei BP)

The plant was built and developed and is operated on a former chicken farm by the egg producer Ise Foods Group (Konosu City, Saitama Prefecture). The group's ISE Power Co Ltd (Minato-ku, Tokyo), which is engaged in renewable energy-based power generation, is the power producer.

The Ise Foods Group develops and operates solar power plants utilizing group property such as former chicken farms, idle sites that the group obtained for chicken farms and private property of Group Chairman Hikonobu Ise.

Many of its idle sites are former chicken farms because, compared with before, more eggs can be produced using new poultry houses (Fig. 2) that require less space per production unit thanks to technical innovation.

Fig. 2: An example of new poultry houses with no windows. Their productivity per unit space has improved. (source: Ise Foods)

The Ise Foods Group is the biggest egg producer in Japan, boasting a share of more than 10% of the domestic egg market. The number of the group's obsolete poultry houses to be integrated into new poultry houses or shut down due to technical innovation is much larger compared with smaller industry peers.