With more than 50 years of experience serving the Texas Medical Center (TMC) campus, Thermal Energy Corporation (TECO) owns and operates the district energy system supplying thermal utilities to the largest medical city in the world. The chilled water and steam system – owned and operated by TECO since 1978 – began under the ownership of Houston Natural Gas Company in 1969.
Today, TECO’s combined heat and power based (CHP) system pipes chilled water and steam to 25.4 million square feet in 51 buildings across 16 different institutions. Customers use TECO’s chilled water service for space cooling, cold rooms and refrigeration; and TECO’s steam service to meet space heating, dehumidification, humidification, sterilization, kitchen, sanitary and research requirements.

As the largest district cooling system in North America since it completed a major expansion in 2011, TECO produces chilled water and steam at two interconnected plants housing 27 chillers and nine boilers.

The not-for-profit company is known for reliability, resiliency, energy efficiency, environmental stewardship and being the energy behind what’s next on the TMC campus.

Reliable. TECO has logged 100% system reliability – no unplanned outages – since 1992.

Resilient. TECO’s dedicated storm ride-out team kept chilled water and steam running without interruption during record-setting Hurricane Harvey, which dropped nearly 60 inches of rain and caused wide-spread flooding in 2017, and during Winter Storm Uri in 2021, an event that impacted the entire state.

Energy efficient. TECO has a CHP unit that is more than twice as efficient as a traditional power plant, and operates its chilled water system at best-in-class efficiencies.

Environmentally sound. Increased system efficiency has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 32,000 tons annually compared to conventional sources.

To learn more about TECO, view and download its recent annual reports.

Cooling and heating pacesetting institutions at the Texas Medical Center

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