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Houston-Based TECO Wins U.S. EPA’s ENERGY STAR CHP Award

Thermal Energy Corp. (TECO), a Texas Medical Center institution, received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2015 ENERGY STAR CHP Award June 29, 2015, at the International District Energy Association’s annual conference in Boston. TECO was one of just three organizations recognized nationwide.

“We’re incredibly honored to receive the ENERGY STAR CHP Award,” says Steve Swinson, TECO’s president and CEO. “So many people and organizations have made it happen, but our customers are our inspiration and driving force. They are dedicated to top-quality, mission-critical healthcare, research and education on the TMC campus. And they deserve top-quality cooling and heating service supported by TECO’s ability to generate reliable power. Our CHP district energy system proves that it is possible to maintain reliability while saving energy and being environmentally and fiscally responsible. It’s hard to argue with that proposition.”

EPA’s CHP Partnership lauded TECO’s 48-megawatt natural gas-fired combined heat and power (CHP) system, which began operation in 2011. The ENERGY STAR CHP Award recognizes organizations that use CHP systems to improve electric generation efficiency and reduce emissions. 

TECO’s CHP system uses approximately 30 percent less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production to cool and heat 19.3 million sq ft of space on the Texas Medical Center campus. It also avoids emitting an estimated 32,700 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to the emissions produced while generating electricity for more than 4,000 homes. 

TECO’s natural gas-fired CHP plant uses a GE LM6000-PD SPRINT gas turbine  – assembled right here in Houston at GE’s global packaging facility – to produce 48 MW of electricity. The electricity and waste heat from the generation process help produce steam and chilled water that are piped underground through TECO’s district cooling and heating network to more than 19 million square feet of customer buildings. TECO can generate enough electricity to power its own chillers and operate the plant even during grid interruptions. It can also export electricity to the grid during peak demand periods, supporting a sometimes-strained electricity supply.

--GE’s LM6000 aeroderivative gas turbine. Photo credit: GE.

TECO's news release.

EPA's news release.

GE's news release: "GE Congratulates LM6000 Customer TECO..."

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