Energy neutral with solar panels

Ten years ago, arable farmer Peter van den Hoek from Heinenoord invested in solar panels. To make the energy supply of his own arable farm more sustainable and to become less dependent on fossil energy, but also to generate an extra source of income. He is now starting to reap the benefits.
11 March 2022

Future-proof agriculture

Together with his brother, Peter van den Hoek runs an arable farm in the municipality of Hoeksche Waard, south of Rotterdam. An area that is surrounded by three different rivers, making it an area with a lot of fertile clay soil. It is not surprising that it is the largest arable municipality in the province of South Holland. On the 200-hectare farm, Peter and his brother grow potatoes, sugar beets, onions, kidney beans and wheat.

Like their colleagues, Peter and his brother are concerned with the business of twenty years from now. Investments cost time and money, and do not pay for itself overnight. Having and keeping a future-proof company is their motivation to continuously look at things that can be done better and to make the right investments that are profitable in the long term.

Advantages of solar power

Peter is already noticing benefits for the company with the investment in the solar panels. Both in terms of own energy consumption and supplying to the electricity grid.

“The mechanical cooling of the potatoes comes on as soon as the sun shines. The temperature of the potatoes is a constant 7 degrees. And all with our own energy. Thanks to the solar panels, our company is energy neutral,” he says visibly proudly.

Our goal was to become energy neutral, and now we produce even more energy than we use”

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