Since 2006, Wouter and Arien Evers have been running their veal farm in Putten. An old family business, because Wouter is the 4th generation at the farm. Over the years, the switch has been made from dairy farm to 100% vealfarming. With renovation and new construction in 2006, 2009 and 2015, the company has grown to a capacity of more than 1500 veals.
Expansions, plans and foresight. It marks the entrepreneurship of the Evers family. Wouter came into contact with Joop Bettink, owner of BestWatt.
Wouter had nothing at all with solar panels, but the opportunity to do something with wind energy seemed interesting to him.
The national debate about climate policy and energy transition does not ignore the family Evers. Doing business means looking ahead. As soon as the idea was born to be independent of the energy network in the future.
After a conversation with BestWatt, it was clear that the entire energy supply cannot be reached only from windenergy. The BestWatt concept provides a combination of energy from sun and wind. Solar and wind energy are completing each other perfectly. The graph below makes that clear.
The calf farm uses a lot of energy. By example to heat up the water for mixing the milk powder. Also, the fans, the feed kitchen, etc. are running. A considerable energy demand (around 60,000 kWh per year).
Step by step, the idea quickly became concrete. A proposal was born to install 256 solar panels on the new fram. Behind it a small windmill with a height of only 20 meters. Due to the location of the farm, the 256 solar panels are distributed over the two sides of the roof.
BestWatt developed the plan together with Van Westreenen, advisers for the countryside. The landscape plan and permit process were worked out and submitted to the local goverment. Wouter: “The premission process went very smoothly. Very positive that the goverment wants to take a progressive role in energy transition. The entire installation was settled within two months."
The installation has been installed for approximately 4 months now. The installation process went smoothly. Two working days were needed to make everything ready for use.
Wouter Evers: “Own energy generation works like a virus.
It has just become a sport ... ”
Wouter: “Own sustainable energy works like a virus. It has just become a sport. What do the solar panels and windmill generate? And above all: How can I use my own energy as efficiently as possible. The electric feedingmachine is charged during the day.
In practice, the entire company has been running entirely on its own power in recent months. Even at night I did not need power from outside, several times. The fans and feed pumps worked on the supplied energy from the windmill. "
How did the neighborhood react to this installation? Wouter and Arien: “Very enthusiastic. When they saw the application in the newspaper, the response was: What are you doing again? There were no objections. Now everything is in place, people are still positive. Such that several entrepreneurs from the region are considering installing such a concept themselves. ”
Due to the limited mast height, the small mill is scarcely present in the landscape. Elements such as drop shadow and sound are also negligible.
Wouter: “First I want to run for a full year to see how much energy is being generated. Then we have the next plans ready. In total, we generate around 30% more power than we need. My goal is to be completely independent of the energy company. "Arien:" We do not want the that large energy companies will determine our course. "
The energy demand is greatest at peak times of the day - when the veals are fed. Now that's no problem. If there is power left, it is supplied back to the grid. If power is needed, it will be used again.
Arien: “We do not want the large energy
companies will determine our course."
“After a year of running, we consider purchasing a heat pump or boiler with heat rods. The last is very interesting, because it works like a battery.
At peak times we use the electricity to pre-heat the water. We are already doing this with biomass. We always have to heat the water from approx. 7 degrees to the required 80 degrees.
If we can pre-heat the water in this way, we need much less energy to prepare the feed.”
"Energy supply has become a sport," said Wouter. “Besides taking responsibility for climate and offspring, it is also just fun to be busy with your own energy.
I can certainly recommend other farmers to install such an installation. Energy is only becoming more expensive. While this installation can be earned back quickly. From that moment the energy is practically free and I have a business model."