Here comes the sun! Waterlooville make-up firm turns rays into electricity

THAT'S BIG! Karen Taylor, quality and environmental manager at Hampshire Cosmetics Ltd
THAT'S BIG! Karen Taylor, quality and environmental manager at Hampshire Cosmetics Ltd
Liza Bailey and her daughter Helen Bailey took part in Small Business Saturday last year at their florist shop Seaside Florist on Hayling Island.

Picture: Malcolm Wells

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THIS is the huge solar power project that will save a business £25,000 a year.

Hampshire Cosmetics, in Waterberry Drive, Waterlooville, has signed an agreement with energy firm Anesco allowing Anesco to lease the huge 55,000sq ft roof for the next 25 years.

Solar panels almost cover the whole roof and will generate almost 25 per cent of the company’s £100,000 energy usage a year.

It means a huge saving for the busy factory, which produces cosmetics for Body Shop, Tesco and Waitrose.

Anesco will sell all excess energy generated to the National Grid.

Hampshire Cosmetics’ quality and environment manager Karen Taylor said: ‘We were looking at making our own energy on site in a bid to increase the sustainability of what we do.

‘As a factory site we are a heavy energy user and we have been trying to become more sustainable in our manufacturing processes.

‘Without necessarily having lots of capital to spend we had to be innovative and we found a company which would effectively lease the roof from us.’

The firm had to do a small amount of remedial work on the roof but all the other costs were met by Anesco, making it the biggest solar project of its kind in the country.

Chief executive of Anesco Adrian Pike said: ‘We’re delighted the scheme at Hampshire Cosmetics is now online and that we delivered the project in a short space of time, safely and within budget.

‘With this project, Anesco is again demonstrating its effectiveness in managing large-scale schemes.’

The work on the roof started in May.

The solar panels were switched on last Wednesday.

Miss Taylor said: ‘All the staff have been kept up to date with what was going on because it was a major project.

‘Everyone is in favour of it, they realise how beneficial it is.’