William A. (Bill) Coley, was elected Chief Executive of British Energy Group plc in March 2005, having served as a non-executive director from June 2003. British Energy Group is the largest electrical generator in the United Kingdom, operating fifteen nuclear units in eight nuclear generating stations and 1 coal-fired station, supplying approximately 20% of the electricity of the UK. British Energy was acquired by EDF in January, 2009. Coley retired as CEO of British Energy in September 2009 following the successful combination of British Energy and EDF Energy.
Mr. Coley served as President of Duke Power, the U.S.-based global energy company, from 1997 until his retirement in February 2003. During his 37-year career at Duke Power, Mr. Coley held various officer level positions in the engineering, operations and senior management areas, including Vice President, Operations (1984-1986), Vice President, Central Division (1986-1988), Senior Vice President, Power Delivery (1988-1990), Senior Vice President, Customer Operations (1990-1991), Executive Vice President, Customer Group (1991-1994) and President, Associated Enterprises Group (1994-1997). Mr. Coley was elected to the board of Duke Power in 1990 and was named President following Duke Power's acquisition of PanEnergy in 1997.
Coley is a 1966 graduate in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and is a Registered Professional Engineer.
Coley is former Chairman of the Electric Power Research Institute in Palo Alto California, a former Director of the Nuclear Energy Institute in Washington, DC and is a Governor of the World Association of Nuclear Operators. He also served on the Board of the Charlotte Symphony, The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library, The United Way of Central Carolinas, United Family Services, International House, Queens University (Charlotte), and was Moderator of Concord Presbytery. Coley was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to the North Carolina Economic Development Board and Co-chaired the Governor's Commission for Efficiency in State Government.
Coley received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Red Cross and The Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the State of North Carolina. Queen Elizabeth awarded him an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in June of 2009 for service to the Empire.