British Energy is the UK’s largest single producer of electricity, accounting for 20 per cent of the nation’s consumption from a predominantly nuclear power base. The company runs eight nuclear plants and one coal-fired power station, based in Eggborough, North Yorkshire, that it acquired in 2000. The latter exists to allow for the flexibility in production capacity demanded by British Energy’s customers. The business sells electricity directly to industrial and commercial clients as well as trading in the wholesale electricity market and delivering power directly to the National Grid. The company has interests in a small number of renewable projects, such as the Lewis Wind Power project, a joint venture between British Energy and AMEC. The plan is build one of the world’s largest onshore wind farms on the Isle of Lewis, off the north west coast of Scotland.
With 6,000 employees engaged in challenging technical and fiscal roles it leans heavily on an array of IT resources. At the last count British Energy possessed 8,700 desktops, 900 laptops and 600 PDAs and Blackberrys. The high proportion of desktops to portable hardware reflects the enormous demands of security in the nuclear industry.
With government-imposed security measures in place any loss of data would be viewed as extremely serious. So the road warrior mentality faces an uphill struggle in a business that takes its responsibilities very seriously indeed. British Energy’s turnover for the year to 2006 was £2.59 billion.