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Wim-Jan Paauw, Paauw Lilies:

“We filled our roof with as many solar panels as possible thanks to SDE+”

On the Trappenberglaan in the Dutch town of Rijnsburg, they might know it already. Enthusiastic people with drones could have already seen it. In Poeldijk at SolarNRG, they know about it already. But Paauw Lilies has not been spreading the word about their investment in 1100 solar panels on the roof of their processing room to everyone. This was done on purpose, says Wim-Jan Paauw of the lily farm consisting of 8.5 hectares, because “the lilies. That’s what it is all about. The solar panels are part of the whole energy story, and the fact that it provides a fair bit of sustainable energy is a nice bonus.”

The lily grower from Rijnsburg had already been looking into the possibilities of getting energy from solar panels for a few years. The fact that SDE+ grants were available was known in Rijnsburg. “We weren’t picked a few times and eventually were able to get a decent feed-in compensation and received the grant.”

Usage of the largest ‘energy users’ is covered
With that, the 1100 panels on the roof of the processing room were eventually placed. “We have a huge roof, and after having discussed it with SolarNRG we filled it to the max”, Wim-Jan explains. “During their peak moments, the panels provide 300 kWh, which we use to cover the energy needed for the cooling cells – ‘a big energy user’ – and the company, which is around 100 kWh. The remaining 200 kWh we provide back to the grid.”

Besides solar panels, the lily grower also uses a CHP. “In the winters and at night when our lights are on but the sun doesn’t shine, we need an alternative energy source”, is the simple explanation provided by Wim-Jan. “But when the sun is shining it now gives an even better feeling. It’s partly because we generate sustainable energy, which fits in with the social responsibility I think an entrepreneur should have, and at the same time it provides us with some extra money, which is always a welcome benefit.”

Nevertheless, the real money still has to be made with the lilies of course. To do this, the family-run company, which saw the light back in 1923 and now is one of the largest lily growers in the Netherlands, produces around ten million lily stems each year. Lilies are a genuine luxury product of which the majority is being exported to England, France, the United States, Russia, and the Far East, to name a few. “We invest non-stop in the cultivating of even better varieties, but also in our business operations. The solar panels are a part of that.”

Information evening on October 3
This fall, another subsidy round of the grant program that is called Promotion of Sustainable Energy Production will be opened. On the 3rd of October, an information evening will be held in the warehouse of SoalrNRG in Poeldijk to elaborate on the matter. Entrepreneurs are invited to attend the evening where a variety of specialists will share their knowledge and experience with SDE+ and solar panels. The visitors are, of course, also welcome to share their experiences while enjoying a bite to eat and some drinks. Signing up for the event can be done here.

For more information: 
Paauw Lilies 

Wim-Jan Paauw
[email protected] 



Piet Zwinkels
[email protected]  

Sander Noordermeer
[email protected]

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