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Remembering Paul G. Bell, Jr., a TECO Proponent and Visionary

Paul Gervais Bell, Jr. played a pivotal role in the history – even the very existence – of Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO). In late 2013, Bell stepped down as chairman of TECO’s Board of Directors after 14 years at the helm.

Now, just three years after he concluded his service to TECO, we are saddened to report that P.G. Bell, Jr. passed away October 31, 2016. We salute his vision, his commitment and his passion for TECO and the service we provide to Texas Medical Center institutions.

Everyone here at TECO extends our sincere condolences to his wife Sue Ledbetter Bell and the entire Bell family. A memorial service was held at St. Martin’s Church on November 7. Memorial gifts may be made to Friends of Congenital Heart Surgery, Texas Children's Hospital, PO Box 300630 MC 4-4483, Houston, TX 77230-0630. Details here.

Bell’s connection to the chilled-water and steam system that serves today’s Texas Medical Center dates back 50 years to when he chaired the building committee for expansion of St. Luke’s Hospital. Rather than installing chillers and boilers to serve only St. Luke’s, he suggested developing a central cooling and heating facility for the entire TMC campus. Following a positive feasibility study, Bell helped select the companies to construct, own and operate the new plant and distribution system.

In 1969, Bell participated in the new plant’s inauguration. In the 1970s, he helped establish what today is known as TECO, which acquired the system from the previous owner and operator.

He began serving on TECO’s Board of Directors in the late 1970s, and in 1999 was appointed the company’s chairman. His crowning achievement was guiding TECO’s Board through a master planning process and acceptance of proposed multiyear construction of combined heat and power plant, thermal energy storage tank, additional chilled-water capacity and distribution system expansion to serve the growing needs of Texas Medical Center.

In 2014, TECO’s Board of Directors voted to rename the company’s Central Plant the Paul G. Bell Jr. Energy Plant in his honor.

We will be forever grateful for his foresight and are honored to carry forward his legacy on the Texas Medical Center campus.

 
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